Over 400 kindergartners and first graders at Cypress Ridge, Mascotte and Groveland elementary schools were treated to a break in their schedule of reading, writing and all the rest last week when employees of Cherrylake arrived to volunteer at their school with books, stickers, and trays of crape myrtle trees to share their love for farming with students as a part of Florida’s Agriculture Literacy Day.
Agriculture Literacy Day, also known as Ag in the Class, is a program designed to help school children and teachers learn about agriculture, where their food comes from and the important contributions Florida farmers make to their communities and state. More than 1,600 volunteers read to 70,000 students each year for this initiative.
Cherrylake is one of the largest wholesale producers of ornamental trees, palms and shrubs in the Southeast United States as well as one of the fastest growing landscape and maintenance construction companies in Central Florida. Cherrylake is part of IMG Enterprises, a diversified agribusiness with operations in citrus, mitigation banking and land management in addition to Cherrylake. By participating in Agriculture Literacy Day, they help make agriculture accessible and exciting to bright young minds across the state.
Novella Crosby, who has been participating in Agriculture Literacy Day for 4 years taught the children the importance of ecosystems, specifically aquaculture. “I enjoy watching their faces light up as their hear what their state has to offer,” Novella said, “They are little sponges!”
Todd Gentry had the opportunity to read to his daughter’s first grade class at Cypress Ridge Elementary. Todd said, “It’s a great program and important that these children know where their food comes from and what goes into farming. I enjoy getting to answer their questions and gain some insight into how their minds work. The best part was the looks on their faces when they learned that they were each receiving a plant to take home.”
These teachers are developing tomorrow’s leaders in agriculture – and Cherrylake is happy to be apart.