Agriculture Reading Hour

About the Program

In celebration of agriculture in Nebraska, volunteers throughout the state read an agriculture-themed book to elementary students in Nebraska.

Each book is provided by the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. This program equips farmers, ranchers, and agriculture industry leaders to read to children in their community and, in turn, donate the book to the classroom or school. The mission of the program is to increase student knowledge about the importance of agriculture in their daily lives.

How to Participate

By signing up for the program you agree to:

  1. Read the book, Farm Boots, to a classroom of your choice.
  2. Capture a photo of your book reading experience.
  3. Donate the book to the school library or classroom.
  4. Submit the photo of your book reading experience to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation.

2023-2024 Book

Farm Boots

By: Lisl Detlefsen

A delightful romp around farms through the seasons – and the many types of boots that are needed to get the job done.

Grab your boots it’s time to explore life on a farm! In joyful verse follow a diverse cast of families as they work together to care for crops and animals on their farms through spring, summer, fall and winter.

Follow farming families as they work and play in boots, all year long. Whether it’s springtime puddle-splashing, riding at the summer fair, or herding sheep into the barn in winter, there’s a type of boot for every kind of weather and activity. Each season brings adorable farm animals, farming equipment, and of course boots in this exploration of farm and country life.

For free educational activities and videos visit

All Agriculture Reading Hour books have been distributed for the 2023-2024 school year. Thank you to all volunteers!

Sign up for Ag Reading Hour 2023-2024

Thank you for seeing the need for agricultural awareness and joining us to take agriculture directly into a classroom. With a $15 donation, you can provide a volunteer a book to take into the classroom to help approximately 20 students learn about agriculture.

Reading Tips

Be prepared. Practice reading the book silently to yourself so you can decide where to pause, where to ask questions, and where to expect reactions.

Introduce the book. Explain that you are a part of agriculture and want to share about what you do with the students.

Read the book with expression. Vary your voice volume and tone throughout the story. Make sure to smile!

Hold the book to the side. As you read, hold the book to the side of your body and slowly move the illustrations in front of the kids.

Allow time for responses and reactions. Don’t rush through the reading experience. Invite the kids to comment on the story and its illustrations and share your experience with the topic.

Most importantly:

Have a good time!

Making the Connection

Many volunteers who choose to participate in Agriculture Reading Hour are farmers, ranchers, or agribusiness partners. These volunteers use their experiences in farming and ranching to share with students about agriculture in Nebraska. As you look around the state, you may notice there aren’t many strawberry fields. Although Nebraska is not a nationally recognized producer of strawberries, this story allows volunteers to connect with readers in other ways. If you’re a volunteer feeling a little disconnected from the story, try using these bits of information to connect with students.

  1. Jolie grows her own plants – so do you! Jolie may be a small-scale farmer, but you can connect to her story by sharing about the plants and animals that you grow and raise.
  2. Jolie has complications growing her food – so do you! She deals with things such as pests and has a comical way to keep her plants growing. How do you keep your plants growing?
  3. Jolie eats her plants – so do you! Your crops are processed into food and products we can use. You can share a connection for how your crops are used; maybe they even feed animals!

In the end, this story allows farmers and ranchers to connect with students. It’s an open door into the classroom to share about agriculture in a colorful story, while also sharing your story of how you grow food.

Past Ag Reading Hour Books

2022-2023 Book

I Love Strawberries!

By: Shannon Anderson

Jolie LOVES strawberries – and she’s on an unstoppable (and hilarious) mission to grow her own food from seedling to table in this colorful introduction to the joy of growing the popular perennial.

Through Jolie’s comical scrapbook-style journal entries, young readers will learn how she convinces the “old people” (aka her parents) to let her grow her own strawberries. Growing strawberries is a lot of work and responsibility, but Jolie is ready with the help of her faithful rabbit Munchy! Together they find out just how delicious, rewarding, and sometimes complicated it can be to grow your own food.

For free educational activities and videos visit

2021-2022 Book

Barn at Night

By: Michelle Houts

An after-dark journey out to the barn, even on the coldest winter evening, can be a warm and welcoming scene. Who is awake, who is asleep, and who is just making their first appearance in the barn? This book creates a warm and wonderful story best shared together.

For free educational activities and videos visit

2020-2021 Book

Right This Very Minute

In recognition of the challenges of a pandemic and National Agriculture Week, Governor Pete Ricketts read an agriculture-themed book to elementary students that highlighted how agriculture brings food to students’ tables.

2019-2020 Book

Right This Very Minute

By: Lisl H. Detlefsen

What’s that you say? You’re hungry? Right this very minute? Then you need a farmer! You have stories of so many right here on your table. Award winners Lisl H. Detlefsen and Renee Kurilla’s delicious celebration of food and farming is sure to inspire readers of all ages to learn more about where their food comes from – right this very minute!

2018-2019 Book

John Deere, That’s Who!

By: Tracy Nelson Maurer

Books donated in memory of Charles and Dorothy Wiechert. 

2017-2018 Book

Before We Eat

By: Pat Brisson

Books provided from a grant from Farm Credit Services.

2016-2017 Book

First Peas to the Table

By: Susan Grigsby

Books provided from a grant from Farm Credit Services.