The 2021 Indiana Farm Bureau Book of the Year is “Tales of the Dairy Godmother: Chuck’s Ice Cream Wish,” written by Viola Butler with art by Ward Jenkins. The annual Book of the Year is a part of INFB’s Agriculture in the Classroom program, a grassroots outreach program to promote agricultural literacy to school children in Indiana.
The INFB 2021 Book of the Year selection committee was made up of five experienced and enthusiastic Agriculture in the Classroom volunteers and teachers. The selected book led the evaluation scores by portraying a realistic view of agriculture while providing suitable content for elementary school children.
More specifically, the 2021 Book of the Year will be used to educate Indiana’s school children about one of Indiana’s most valuable commodities, dairy. The book uses a popular snack with children, ice cream, to teach them about dairy farms and to spark curiosity about where their food comes from.
“Tales of the Dairy Godmother: Chuck’s Ice Cream Wish” is the first book published by author, Viola Butler. Butler struggled with reading as a child due to dyslexia, but that struggle soon turned into a passion. She hopes her story inspires children to have a lifelong love of reading and learning.
Ward Jenkins, the books illustrator visited dairy farms in Georgia and worked with The Dairy Alliance in order to accurately depict life on a dairy farm. “Tales of the Dairy Godmother: Chuck’s Ice Cream Wish” is available via Feeding Minds Press, the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s publishing venture.
For the fifth consecutive year, a statewide campaign by the INFB Women’s Leadership Committee is underway to promote the book in every county in Indiana throughout 2021. Ag in the Classroom volunteers will be able to use the Book of the Year with classrooms virtually or in person depending on individual school recommendations next year. Earlier this year, INFB launched its Adopt a Classroom program which allows Ag in the Classroom volunteers to use virtual tools to continue to educate Indiana’s school children about agriculture despite adjustments to school programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
INFB launched the Book of the Year program in 2017 with “The Kid Who Changed the World” by Andy Andrews, a children’s book about Norman Borlaug, who grew up and used his knowledge of agriculture to create “super plants” that saved the lives of two billion people.
If you’re involved in education and are interested in learning more about how you can incorporate INFB’s 2021 Book of the Year into your curriculum or student programming, contact your county Farm Bureau or visit the Ag in the Classroom section of INFB’s website.