Local group donates books to promote farming
Farming is an essential industry that is most often the starting point for many other industries. Its effects are far-reaching and it’s safe to say that we wouldn’t be able to make it too long without the men and women who are part of this essential facet of our world.
Because of its importance, one local group is doing their part to promote farming to our county’s youth through the donation of books at local elementary schools.
The Women’s Leadership Division of the Franklin County Farmer’s Federation recently donated seven books with farm-related themes to West Elementary School in Russellville.
The books will be added to the collection of 18 books the group donated in February 2013 along with a unique bookshelf fashioned in the shape of a barn and a silo that they commissioned the Russellville High School agriculture department to build.
The donations were made as part of the women’s “Learning Barn Bookcase Project,” which is something they hope will get students interested in agriculture.
The bookshelf and books sit in the WES library and are available for children to read and check-out to take home.
“Farming is vital to our world even though many of today’s children don’t know that,” said Carol Glass, chairwoman of the Women’s Leadership Division of the Franklin County Farmer’s Federation.
“They think their food comes from the grocery store or from McDonald’s, and they think their clothes come from Wal-Mart or another department store. They don’t realize now that the food they eat and the cotton for clothes had to be grown and harvested before it could even get to those places.”
Josh Melson, the Farmer’s Federation area organization director for seven counties, including Franklin, said the project was a great way to reach out to the younger generation.
“We want to advocate our farming culture to our young people,” Melson said.
“Doing this through books that are entertaining as well as educational is a great way to get these young children to see the benefits of farming and the necessity of having men and women who are willing to be part of the farming industry.”
WES librarian Mary Kay Rogers said the children have enjoyed the books donated by the group last February and she said she appreciates the group’s continued support.
“The students really love these books and we use them a lot, especially with our kindergarten classes during their library time,” Rogers said.
“These books get the children interested in the different aspects of farming but they are also very informative. They are a great addition to our library and we appreciate them so much.”
In addition to the donations to WES, Glass said the women also commissioned learning barn bookcases to be built by other high school ag departments or Future Farmers of America (FFA) groups that have been placed at Tharptown Elementary School, East Franklin Junior High School, Belgreen School, and Vina School.
She said they are currently waiting on two more bookcases to be built for Phil Campbell Elementary School and Red Bay School, which will mean each elementary school in the county will have a bookcase and books.
“This project first started in Virginia and spread to Alabama and several counties in the state have already begun to implement it, so we wanted to get Franklin County involved as well,” Glass said.
“We believe this is a worthwhile project that will benefit all the county’s children.”
Glass said members of the community can also participate in the project by donating a farm-related book to be displayed in the bookcases.
Glass said books could be donated in memory of or in honor of someone, or they could just simply be donated to the school of their choice.
Anyone interested in making a donation to purchase a book can contact Glass at 256-810-5446 for more information.