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George Washington Carver often said that a weed is a flower growing in the wrong place. He might have said this about himself. As the child of slaves, he grew up eager to learn, but was unable to find a school in his neighborhood that would accept black students. It was twenty years before he had enough money saved to go to college, but eventually George Washington Carver became a professor at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. There he was able to teach poor farmers the value of plants such as the sweet potato and the peanut – crops that were almost unknown at the time, but for which he invented hundreds of uses.

Written and illustrated with affection for “a wonderful man who devoted his whole life to making life better for others,” Aliki’s biography tells the remarkable story of a great figure in African American history who is now recognized as the most prominent Black scientist of the early twentieth century. This book needs to be returned. 

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Ag Today – Issue 4

National Agriculture in the Classroom

This six part series is a publication of National Agriculture in the Classroom. Issue four looks at how the global movement of agriculture products continue to be driven by economics, and consumer demand and preferences. Agriculture, food, and natural resource systems continue to play an integral role in the evolution of societies both in the United States and the world. Teacher guide is included.

Check out the e-book version and online teacher guide!
Please put the number of students in your class in the quantity section at checkout to ensure the correct number of supplies gets to you.

Additional publications: Ag Today Issue 1, Ag Today Issue 2Ag Today Issue 3, Ag Today Issue 5, Ag Today Issue 6

This item doe not need to be returned.

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Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table

Jacqueline Briggs Martin

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 in Milwaukee he saw a huge table, big enough to feed the whole world. This book needs to be returned.

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Your students will learn how to make gyotaku (that’s Japanese for fish print) by using this realistic fish replica made of rubber, rolling it with block printing ink, and applying it to paper. Use the fish to create unique greeting cards and stationery, framed prints for hanging, wrapping paper – the ideas are endless!

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With a mind for ingenuity, Henry Ford looked to improve life for others. After the Great Depression struck, Ford especially wanted to support ailing farmers. For two years, Ford and his team researched ways to use farmers’ crops in his Ford Motor Company. They discovered that the soybean was the perfect answer. Soon, Ford’s cars contained many soybean plastic parts, and Ford incorporated soybeans into every part of his life. He ate soybeans, he wore clothes made of soybean fabric, and he wanted to drive soybeans, too. Award-winning author Peggy Thomas and illustrator Edwin Fotheringham explore this American icon’s little-known quest. This book needs to be returned. 

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The age-old practice of sitting down to a family meal is undergoing unprecedented change as rising world affluence and trade, along with the spread of global food conglomerates, transform eating habits worldwide. HUNGRY PLANET profiles 30 families from around the world–including Bosnia, Chad, Egypt, Greenland, Japan, the United States, and France–and offers detailed descriptions of weekly food purchases; photographs of the families at home, at market, and in their communities; and a portrait of each family surrounded by a week’s worth of groceries. Featuring photo-essays on international street food, meat markets, fast food, and cookery, this captivating chronicle offers a riveting look at what the world really eats. This book needs to be returned. 

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John Deere, That’s Who!

Tracy Nelson Maurer

Back in the 1830s, John Deere was a young blacksmith from Vermont, about to make his mark on American history. He moved to Illinois, where farmers were struggling to plow through the thick, rich soil they called gumbo. Hee tinkered and tweaked and tested until he invented a steel plow that sliced into the prairie easy as you please. Long before the first tractor, John Deere changed farming forever. This book will need to be returned.

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As a boy, Abraham Lincoln helped his family break through the wilderness and struggle on a frontier farm. When Lincoln was a young man, friends made it easier for him to get a better education and become a lawyer, so as a politician he paved the way for better schools and roads. President Lincoln cleared a path to better farming, improved transportation, accessible education, and most importantly, freedom. Author Peggy Thomas uncovers Abraham Lincoln’s passion for agriculture and his country while illustrator Stacy Innerst cleverly provides a clear look as President Lincoln strives for positive change.

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One Plastic Bag

Isatou Ceesay and The Recycling Women of Gambia

The inspiring true story of how one African women began a movement to recycle the plastic bags that were polluting her community.

Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag become two. Then ten. Then a hundred.

The bags accumulated in ugly heaps alongside roads. Water pooled in them, bringing mosquitoes and disease. Some bags were burned, leaving behind a terrible smell. Some were buried, but they strangled gardens. They killed livestock that tried to eat them. Something had to change.

Isatou Ceesay was that change. She found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. This inspirational true story shows how one person’s actions really can make a difference in our world. This book needs to be returned. 

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Dr. Norman Borlaug, one of the world’s greatest heroes, is the most highly-decorated individual of our time. He is credited with saving over a billion people from starvation. Dr. Borlaug is only one of seven people in history to win all three of the following awards: the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. In addition, Dr. Borlaug received the Padma Vibhushan, the highest civilian award the government of India can present to a non-citizen. The Man Who Fed the World has won three national book of the year awards: USA Booknews best Biography of the Year. The American Farm Bureau for Agriculture Best Book of the Year award, and Florida Publishers Association Best Book Award. This book needs to be returned.