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Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc. this year celebrates its 30th anniversary. The Gainesville-based FAITC30yrlogonon-profit organization has been educating Florida teachers and students in kindergarten through 12th grade about the source of their food, fiber and fuel and the importance of the Florida agriculture during that time.

In addition to 2016 being the 30th anniversary of the organization, it’s also the 20th anniversary of the Ag Tag specialty license plate, FAITC’s primary source of funding.

FAITC has used those funds over the years to create educational materials, teacher workshops and teacher and volunteer grants programs and Florida Agriculture Literacy Day that use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies and other more. In addition, FAITC has embraced the school garden movement by developing school garden curricula (Gardening for Grades, Gardening for Nutrition and soon to debut STEMming Up Gardening for Grades), offering hundreds of $500 school garden mini grants and conducting dozens of school garden workshops/farm tours for teachers in recent years. The organization estimates it reaches more than 6,000 teachers and more than 160,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade each year on average.img_9916_opt-1

To celebrate these milestone events, FAITC’s board of directors and staff held a special dinner called ‘Boots, Barns and Books’ the evening of Thursday Nov. 3 at Sunny Acres Lodge in Polk City. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Chef Paula made some special dishes, and participants went on buggy ride, toured the ‘Seed Survivor’ mobile classroom and participated in a clay shoot on the scenic property in Polk County.