A volunteer reads to a group of 2nd graders in Tompkins County during Ag Literacy Week 2006. Ag-in-the-Classroom
Image by Sandy Repp

A volunteer reads to 2nd graders during Ag Literacy Week 2006.

Agricultural Literacy Week


Established in 1985, New York Agriculture in the Classroom (NYAITC) is a partnership of Cornell University, the NYS Department of Ag & Markets, the NYS Education Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the New York Farm Bureau. Its mission is to foster awareness, understanding, and appreciation of how we produce food and fiber, what we eat, and how we live, by helping educators, students, and their communities learn about and engage with agriculture and food systems.

NY Ag Literacy Week: March 21 - 25, 2022

The Cornell University New York Agriculture in the Classroom Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County invite you to participate in our annual Agricultural Literacy Week to be held virtually for 2022! Last year, 2000 books were donated to school or classroom libraries and books were read by volunteers to thousands of second graders throughout New York State. While the program will be formally celebrated during the week of March 21 - 25, we will be hosting virtual celebrations in classrooms for the two-week period of March 21 – April 1, 2022.

The selected book for 2021 is Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Eric-Shabazz Larkin.

Agriculture is a unifying factor for communities all over. Whether you have 100 acres or a rooftop, there are opportunities for growing food and sharing the journey from soil to table with those around, as illustrated in Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table. This book will take students on an explorative journey learn about community gardens and inspire them to build communities through food, even if they only have a pot on their porch to cultivate.

Will Allen is no ordinary farmer. A former basketball star, he's as tall as his truck, and he can hold a cabbage, or a basketball, in one hand. But what is most special about Farmer Will is that he can see what others can't see. When he looked at an abandoned city lot he saw a huge table, big enough to feed the whole world. No space, no problem. Poor soil, there's a solution. Need help, found it. Farmer Will is a genius in solving problems. Jacqueline Briggs Martin tells the inspiring story of an innovator, educator, and community builder. Combined with artist Eric-Shabazz Larkin's striking artwork, readers will share Will Allen's optimism and determination to bring good food to every table. This story also showcases the unique diversity of agricultural operations that is especially applicable to New York's combination of rural, suburban, and urban landscapes.

Classrooms that are interested in participating may use our online sign-up page: https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/Agliteracyweek-22_228


The Ag Literacy Week book and lesson materials will be delivered to participating classrooms in advance of our celebratory event. Volunteers will have the opportunity to virtually “visit” local elementary school classes during the entire month of March to help us celebrate this year’s Ag Literacy Week! Ag Literacy Week volunteers will read the Ag Literacy book and guide the teachers and students through an interactive activity through video conferencing technology. At the conclusion of the activity, the book will be donated to the classroom library for students and teachers to use throughout the school year.

Second grade teachers and volunteers who are interested in participating in NY Ag Literacy Week should send an email to nassaucounty4h@cornell.edu. Visit the New York State Ag in the Classroom website to learn more about statewide activities and to learn about agriculture-themed books that have been featured in other years.


Michael Fiorentino
Natural Resources Coordinator
516-565-5265 Ext. 13

Last updated January 4, 2022