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Students Learn about Florida Aquaculture and Seafood

Mrs. Smith and her third grade students at Five Points Elementary School. The students made handprint fish as an activity to reinforce the aquaculture lesson. Dozens of classrooms in Columbia County schools engaged in agriculture literacy activities delivered by Columbia County Farm Bureau members and UF/IFAS Extension in association with Agriculture Literacy Day.

Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc. kicked off Agriculture Literacy Day on May 2nd.  This is an annual event that shares the gift of agricultural literacy with area youth. This year, throughout the month of May, Columbia County Farm Bureau members and UF/IFAS Columbia County Extension agents visited area elementary classrooms to read a children’s non-fiction book about Florida’s Agriculture. This year’s book is titled Drive Through Florida: Aquaculture and Seafood. Aquaculture is an often forgotten, yet very important segment of Florida agriculture. According to economic analysis by Dr. Allan Hodges, the direct impact of the aquaculture industry in Florida includes almost 18,000 jobs and over $1.2 billion in economic impact. Florida commercial fisheries and aquaculture industries includes a wide variety of shellfish and finfish harvested from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean; as well as aquaculture products including tropical fish, alligator, oysters and clams, and aquatic plants.

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