From inside a traveling classroom, the eyes of young students light up as they experience agriculture for the first time by feeling products, playing games, reading books and talking with agricultural professionals.
The Mobile Ag Lab is just one way the Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation helps increase ag literacy in the First State and the 3rd Annual Lace Up for Ag Literacy 5k Run/Walk, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 21, will help the Foundation continue this legacy.
“The Foundation’s mission plays a critical role in teaching the public about Delaware’s agriculture, building awareness and understanding. Fresh local food is important, and it comes from our farms here in Delaware,” DEFB Marketing Coordinator Mikayla Paul said. “Funding the Foundation helps those things become a reality.”
The Foundation started the Lace Up for Ag 5k Run/Walk to help fundraising efforts. Now in its third year, the event will highlight local agriculture as participants find their way through a local farm.
The 3rd Annual Lace Up for Ag Literacy 5K Run/Walk will be held Saturday, Oct. 21 at Hopkins Farm Creamery located at 18186 Dairy Farm Rd. in Lewes. A Healthy Kids Run will kick off the event at 8:50 a.m. with the formal race starting at 9 a.m.
Hopkins Farm Creamery is a popular, family-friendly location situated in the heart of Green Acres Farm, a fourth-generation farming venture, located at the intersection of Dairy Farm Road and Route 9 in Lewes. According to its website, the creamery operation opened in 2008 “. . .and has been creating new flavors of ice cream and selling them to the public ever since.”
Starting and finishing at the popular ice cream spot, the off-road farm course for the upcoming 5k race will take runners and walkers alike back into the pastures of the farm, past hay bales and a barn, through the covered bridge and around the pond.
“Having these kinds of events at our Delaware farms brings the event full circle. It raises funds for an important cause, but it also gets our runners and walkers out while experiencing agriculture like we hope the students do in the Mobile Ag Lab,” Paul said.
When it comes to the students who make their way through the Ag Lab, Foundation Intern Audrey Hastings explained that she’s seen the impact of promoting ag literacy in Delaware firsthand.
“I can tell when I get in the lab that some of these kids have never experienced agriculture before and don’t know where their food or products actually come from. They don’t come from the store; they come from farms right here on Delmarva and it’s really cool to be able to share that with the kids who come into the ag lab,” Hastings said. “Over the next few years, we want to be able to enhance the Ag Lab and bring more experiences to young people in Delaware. The race event will really help us reach those goals.”
Registration for the Lace Up for Ag Literacy 5k Run/Walk event is $25 per person, including silent heroes who cannot participate in the actual race, through Oct. 13. Registration increases to $30 starting Oct. 14 through the day of the event. The Healthy Kids Run is free for kids 10 years old and younger. Checks can be made payable to “DE Farm Bureau Foundation” and mailed to the DE Farm Bureau Foundation at 3457 S. DuPont Hwy, Camden, DE, 19934. To register online, visit https://runsignup.com/Race/DE/Lewes/LaceUpforAg5KRunWalk. Interested participants and sponsors can also contact the state office at 302-697-3183 or visit the Foundation online at www.defb.org.