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Annual statewide Agricultural Literacy Project engages students in annual statewide Agricultural Literacy Project.

COURTESY OF OREGON AGRICULTURE IN THE CLASSROOM FOUNDATION - Carolyn Jackson, a retired educator and owner of a Century Farm in Halsey, visited MITCH to the featured book, John Deere, Thats Who! as part of the statewide kick-off of the annual literacy project.Students were thinking like farmers on Wednesday at MITCH Charter School in Tualatin during the kick-off of an annual statewide Agricultural Literacy Project organized by Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation.

Each year, the charter school, which offers students a curriculum that focuses on agriculture, engages in the project that connects volunteers across the state to their local classrooms with an engaging children's book that investigates a topic in agriculture with a companion activity.

The featured book this year is Tracy Maurer's book "John Deere, That's Who!"

The related lesson examines tractor technology and soil conservation, asking students to use teamwork and ingenuity to build their own load-bearing devices.

COURTESY OF OREGON AGRICULTURE IN THE CLASSROOM FOUNDATION - Caitlin Blood, MITCH agriculture teacher, elicits student ideas as they construct their load bearing devices. The event began with an assembly event featuring a relay activity before the reader, Carolyn Jackson, a retired educator and owner of a grass seed Century Farm in Halsey, shared her own experience of farming with more than 230 students, before launching into an animated reading of the book, complete with supportive props and visuals.

Jackson concluded her message by asking students to think through all the different kinds of farmers involved in the production of a turkey sandwich.

Later, volunteers from Sherwood High School FFA Chapter and the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District, along with some of the older students at MITCH, accompanied students back to their classrooms, where they led students in the companion engineering lesson.

Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping students grow in their knowledge of Oregon's agriculture, environment and natural resources. COURTESY OF OREGON AGRICULTURE IN THE CLASSROOM FOUNDATION - MITCH students team up to build a load-bearing device. This engineering activity reinforces the message of the book, encouraging students to think creatively and solve a challenge.

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