The Ag Pen Pal Program connects farmers and ranchers with classrooms to help students understand where their food, fiber, and fuel comes from. This link creates a personal connection between the classroom and a volunteer in the agriculture community.
Volunteers come from across the Nebraska agriculture community and classroom participants come from across the state as well and can be urban or rural.
Each year the Ag Pen Pal Program matches volunteers to help more than 5,000 students understand and appreciate the agriculture around them. Many Ag Pen Pal volunteers enhance the experience by sending photos, videos, and seed and fiber samples from their farm or ranch, visiting the classroom, and even hosting a field trip to their farm or ranch.
The Ag Pen Pal Program begins each year on September 1 and the volunteer sends the first letter by September 30. Sign up for the program opens on April 1 and closes August 10.
If you have questions about the Ag Pen Pal Program, please contact Ashley McClinton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (402) 421-4747.
The Ag Pen Pal Program provides a real-life connection to the agriculture community so students can see the daily life of a Nebraska farmer or rancher. Pre-Kindergarten – Eighth grade classrooms are invited to sign up to exchange letters three times during the school year. Letters can be in the form of mailed letters or email. Although only three letters are required, additional touchpoints are welcome.
The Ag Pen Pal Program helps students:
- Develop a relationship with a Nebraska farmer or rancher.
- Learn about natural resources, seasons, nutrition, communities, the environment, weather, and the culture of rural Nebraska.
The Ag Pen Pal Program aligns with Nebraska State Language Arts Standards.
In addition to letter writing, some classrooms choose to:
- Ask questions about daily life on the farm/ranch.
- Send photos of their classrooms.
- Visit their farm/ranch in-person or video chat.
Get connected today!
Making the Program a Success
This guide contains ideas to get started and resources available to you. A program guide and match will be mailed to participants in late August after signing up. Access the online version of the program guide here.
Farmers and Ranchers
The commitment is just three letters during the school year spread across the fall, winter, and spring. This is a low time, high impact volunteer opportunity!
The questions you get from your classroom will make your day! You can wow students by simply sharing photos, videos, or seed and fiber samples from your farm or ranch.
It Makes a Difference
Students who experience a personal connection to farm and ranch families have a more positive impression of Nebraska’s number one industry. You can help grow leaders who value agriculture!
Make a Difference and Sign Up Today!
Making the Program a Success
Use this program guide for tips and ideas of how to begin writing to your classroom. Remember, real world relationships take time to develop and this one will too. A program guide and match will be mailed to participants in late August after signing up.
Do you have a story about your experience in the Ag Pen Pal Program? Please share your story and photos here about your Ag Pen Pal experience. Stories are an important tool for education and fundraising efforts.
All feedback is welcome and will help us to improve the program. This information helps us reflect on our work, demonstrate the different made in peoples lives, generate support, and build a greater understanding of our programs to the public.
*Evaluations will be released April 1 for you to share about your school year experience in the Ag Pen Pal Program.