PENCILS, PAPERS, & ERASERS, OH MY!

Back to School with Agriculture in Mind

It’s that time of year, the time that parents look forward to the most and the time children dread. It’s time for children everywhere to go back to school! At the end of summer, schools post their back to school items needed for each student to be successful in the coming school year. Whether your child is going into Kindergarten or High School, some of the items on the back to school lists consist of the same items including, pencils, crayons, glue sticks, and loose leaf paper. All of these products are extremely important for students all around the world and they all include American agricultural products to succeed in classroom activities.

Most school supplies are made from some part of United States agriculture whether it is made form crops or renewable resources. Luckily one of the biggest producers of school supplies comes from forests all around America. About 33% of the U.S is forestland that is the same as 737 million acres! Forests have many responsibilities; one, which is extremely important, and that is the production of paper. Millions of children all around America use paper for all sorts of activities in their classrooms. Fortunately trees are renewable, most of the paper that is used come from managed timberlands or tree farms that are specifically grown to produce paper products including paper and pencils.

Agriculture in the United States is playing an increasing role. Two of the biggest crops that are not only used for food and fuel but also classroom school supplies all come from soybeans and corn. One supply that students look forward to using the most is crayons, not only for the completion of assignments graded by their teachers but also because crayons bring to life so many children’s visions. Not only are soybeans used for food, and bio diesel but are also used to make crayons that millions of children use daily.

Corn also makes its appearance in the production of one favored children’s school supply, glue. When children have the opportunity to use crayons and glue in any school assignment, the creations that they make are important for the building blocks of a child’s life. Without these “basic” supplies, the students who are our future would be less prepared because they would not have the opportunity to create such monumental creations in all years of learning.

It is clear that Agriculture plays an increasing role in the school supplies that students use every year. Take a moment to realize how important Agriculture plays a role in the production of supplies all around the country.

Alyssa Kabureck
Illinois Corn summer intern
Illinois State University Student

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