Over the last 3 months, the farming community in Oakland, IL, has found some unique ways to advocate for agriculture—or “agvocate”—with their youth. Birkey’s has been proud to support these efforts. Here are three short stories.
Oakland Ag Education
In March, the Oakland School Board considered changing the agriculture teacher position from full-time to part-time. After hearing the news, community members came together to make ag classes a priority.
Many current students, students’ families and other community members attended a special school board meeting to share why ag classes were important. After the event, the school board chose not to make any cuts to the agriculture program for the 2014-2015 school year. Local news station WCIA 3 covered the story:
Oakland FFA Safety Day
In April, Oakland FFA and Oakland Birkey’s cooperated in a Safety Day. Oakland FFA members hosted safety demonstrations for students in kindergarten through 8th grade. Birkey’s Farm Store brought in three large tractors, and students were allowed to sit in the operator’s seat while FFA members explained how tractors work. Students were told of the dangers of being around large farm equipment, and FFA members stressed that it is very hard to see people around tractors.
FFA Supports Food Drive
During the past 3 months, Oakland FFA also participated in a food collection event. Students were encouraged to bring in peanut butter and jelly as part of Birkey’s Hunger Drive, an event collecting food and funds for local food banks. Over ninety students donated 226 pounds of peanut butter and jelly to this drive and had their names entered into a drawing to win a collectible toy tractor donated by Birkey’s.
Oakland’s local winner was Cody Hall, a seventh grader at Lake Crest. Cody donated because local FFA members encouraged him to do so. He plans to keep the prize in mint condition.