The time has come to pack up the summer floaties, put away the campers and start packing the kids’ school backpacks, lunches and minds. Right this very minute you might be rolling your eyes at me for talking about back to school. But August is back-to-school month. It is also Kids Eat Right Month, Peach Month and Sandwich Month, along with Catfish Month and Get Acquainted with Kiwifruit Month. Plus, the first full week of August is Farmers’ Market Week.
Below is a short back-to-school list of “must haves” that are made possible because of agriculture.
1. Pencils, paper and facial tissue – tree farms are essential in providing these staples.
2. Art supplies – some crayons are made with soybean oil, paint brushes contain pig or cattle hair bristles, pig by-products are used to make chalk and glue, plus soy byproducts are found in many cleaning agents that we use to clean up the art room.
3. New clothes – every kid enjoys picking out new clothes for the school year. We can thank cotton farmers for growing the cotton for jeans, many T-shirts and even your gym tops.
4. Hand lotions, warm sweaters, hats, gloves and scarves – lanolin from sheep is found in hand lotions and their wool is spun into yarn.
5. Renewable fuels – ethanol from corn fuels up teachers’ cars while soy biodiesel often powers school buses.
They finished the day on our lawn with a light snack and me reading “Right This Very Minute.” Educating doesn’t have to be sitting in a classroom waiting for the time to go by. It can be so much more!