Agriculture Book of the Year celebrates the gardener

Agriculture Book of the Year celebrates the gardener

Children's book links a classroom garden to Thomas Jefferson.

The American Farm Bureau Federation has been choosing a Book of the Year award for 9 years, and for 2016 it has chosen "First Peas to the Table" for the honor. The award sprang from an effort to identify accurate ag books.

In this youth-oriented book, a little girl, Maya, and her classmates learn about gardens and peas, as well as Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello.

Author Susan Grigsby, St. Louis, Mo., has written three picture books as well as poetry. She teaches creative writing in schools, museums and nature centers, often integrating the lessons of science, social studies and art.

First Peas to the Table by Susan Grigsby honored for agriculture accuracy, and is written for the young gardener.

Grigsby is quoted in the award announcement: "I am so happy that, thanks to this recognition from the American Farm Bureau Foundation For Agriculture, more children will have access to ‘First Peas to the Table.' I sometimes help students set up their own school gardens and am always inspired by the sense of wonder that develops as the children discover the infinite number of variables involved in turning one tiny seed into a plant that can feed a family."

Grigsby explains that after reading the ag-related correspondence and journals of Thomas Jefferson, she was struck by his passion for experimenting and to figure out which plants previously grown on other continents that would grow best in North America. "I wrote the book to celebrate how every gardener, young and old, learns through experimentation, through failures and success and with a joy for the wonders of nature."

The foundation has identified a collection of nearly 500 books for children, teenagers and adults that accurately cover ag topics. You can find that database of books at

Source: American Farm Bureau Foundation

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