BRIDGEWATER, NJ (October 14, 2008)—Alpharma Inc., Animal Health has been recognized as the sole sponsor of the Agriculture in the Classroom 2008 Book of the Year program. This year marks the first time that a company has sponsored this educational activity coordinated by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture.
“The Book of the Year program was developed to dispel misconceptions about traditional farming practices and to prevent these misconceptions from being ingrained in the young consumer’s mind,” said Elizabeth Wolanyk, Director of Education and Research at the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. “Without these current methods, America’s farmers would not be able to sustain the demand for food.”
The Book of the Year program selects a book suitable for classroom use and then develops a corresponding curriculum based on the book’s main principles. The selected books focus on the importance of conventional agriculture practices. Students in participating classrooms are required to read the book, participate in a lesson and then write an essay that applies the basic principles to present life.
“It is critical that we educate consumers early on about today’s farming practices and food production so that they can make well-informed decisions about the food products they purchase,” said Jeff Mellinger, Global Leader of Sales and Marketing at Alpharma Inc. “We are excited about this opportunity to work with Agriculture in the Classroom and the ability to educate students on the importance of technology in farming.”
The book of the year for 2008 is The Man Who Fed the World by Leon Hesser. Hesser depicts Norman Borlaug and his revolutionary ideas that changed the way the world looks at food production. Borlaug introduced new technologies, such as corn hybrids, to farmers in developing countries, who in turn increased their harvest and helped avert a global food crisis. As a result, in 1970 Borlaug was given the Nobel Peace Prize for his work advocating steps to prevent hunger and famine in developing countries.
The funding Alpharma will provide will go toward purchasing books for students and teachers and for researching and developing the curriculum. The student essays that result will be judged on overall understanding of the material, structure and creativity. A winning essay will be announced during Ag Week in the spring of 2009 and will be awarded a prize.
The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is an affiliate of the American Farm Bureau. The Foundation, formed in 1967, seeks to initiate and finance agriculture research while building awareness about agriculture through classroom and consumer educational programs.
Agriculture in the Classroom is an educational program established by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1981. The program provides teachers with the materials necessary to educate students about food production and seeks to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society.
Alpharma Inc., Animal Health is a leading manufacturer and marketer of animal health feed additives to the cattle, poultry and swine industries worldwide. Alpharma is committed to providing feed products that foster health and welfare in livestock animals.
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