What would our world be like without farmers for a day?
That is the question that Autumn Pequignot asks in her first published book, "The Day the Farmers Quit." The story is told through the point of view of a little boy who wakes up one day, looks out the window and notices the animals are gone. He goes to the farmers market and no one is there. As the day goes on, he learns that the farmer who lives next door is gone and so are all the farmers.
Fortunately, it turns at that the who experience is a dream, but it's important to think about all that farmers do and what it would be like if they weren't around, Pequignot said.
The Mountain View Elementary School kindergarten teacher presented her book to the students of her school during an assembly and led a discussion on the importance of agriculture.
It's just one of the reasons why Pequignot was named the runner-up agriculture teacher of the year by Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom.
Pequignot is new to Mountain View this year, having taught for many years at Lacey Spring Elementary School. During her time there, Pequignot had the chance to teach the relatives of a Harrisonburg-based teacher who was named the National Agriculture Teacher of the Year.
She was able to learn many things about teaching agriculture from her and how to get students excited about it. Once she saw the passion from the agriculture community and the way students ate up what she was teaching, her passion only grew.
While at Lacey Spring, Pequignot created Agriculture Adventure Day, a day dedicated to agriculture in the Valley and the many forms that takes. Farmers, and other industry folks, set up stations and bring animals and turbines and more.
Pequignot brought that to Mountain View Elementary, and Ag Adventure Day will be held on April 2 this year.
An initiative that already existed when Pequignot arrived, but that she's helped expand on is "Foodie Fridays." Every Friday students learn about different foods they may have never been introduced to before. Pequignot expanded this to "Farm Foodie Fridays," where students focus on one specific ingredient and the sequencing that takes place to get it from farm to table.
Something else that Pequignot brought to Mountain View was 4-H Mondays, where someone from the local 4-H comes to talk to students about a topic.
"My platform has and will continue to be encouraging agriculture education, cross-curricular activities and outdoor learning experiences with an overarching theme of the importance of agriculture within the community," Pequignot said.
Agriculture in the Classroom is a national program that promotes greater understanding of agriculture through education. The Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom is a nonprofit organization that receives financial and administrative support from Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.