A new non-fiction book by children’s author Katie Olthoff is now available and tells the story of raising corn on a modern Iowa farm.
My Family’s Corn Farm is available by request free for students and teachers from the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation.
The story follows Presley, a young farm girl in Iowa. She lives with her family on a corn and swine farm. Presley a takes the readers on a tour of the family farm and discusses how corn is grown for livestock feed, human food and industrial uses, and to produce fuel like ethanol. The book is written at a 3
rd grade reading level and has supplemental text that gives additional background information for more advanced readers.
The book is the third in a series by Olthoff who is a former teacher and understands the importance of having high quality, relevant non-fiction books for students. Iowa Core educational standards require that up to 50% of student reading be informational or non-fiction. In elementary classrooms there is a lack of these non-fiction resources.
“People have a desire to find out how their food is grown,” said Olthoff. “The
My Family’s Farm series is the perfect solution to telling the food production story and providing more non-fiction resources for teachers.”
Olthoff lives on a working turkey farm in central Iowa with her husband and family. Her first book detailed how turkeys were raised on their family farm. She currently works for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association as director of communications. She is active in the agriculture community in Iowa and beyond as a volunteer for Common Ground, a national network of farm women who share information on food and farming with consumers across the country. She has experience teaching and communicating about agriculture with her blog, On the Banks of Squaw Creek.
“This book introduces students to the everyday lives of Iowa’s farm families and what it takes to grow a corn crop,” said Iowa Corn Grassroots Network, Membership & Checkoff Chair Larry Buss, a farmer from Logan. “It demonstrates what a major driver corn is to Iowa’s economy. We are excited to offer this educational resource to teachers and their students.”
Copies of the book are being made available to all Iowa elementary schools and additional copies are available on request. The book is a special project of the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation with financial support from the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. The book also has two lesson plan companion resources that will help teachers integrate the book into a science lesson or a language arts lesson. The lesson plans are aligned with Iowa Core standards and easily fit into an approved course of study.
“Few places raise more corn than Iowa does,” said Will Fett, executive director of IALF. “Iowa has ideal climate and soil for field corn production. This resource helps make learning real and relevant for Iowa students.”
For more information about this book or other education resources please contact the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation at
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