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      Students increase agriculture literacy one letter at a time

      Abby Snyder and Allie Kelsey write letters in response to a controversial video.

      A controversial video has some Heartland students springing into action.

      Cassie Cowles is an Agriculture Educator at the Kirksville Area Technical Center, and Thursday morning she woke up to a startling sight.

      "I woke up and was scrolling through Facebook like most people do before the actually get up and go to work in the morning and a fellow Ag teacher Jack Green from Milan had actually posted a comment on Facebook about this video," said Cowles.

      The video consists of comedian Pete Holmes joking about the frivolity of farmers, saying things like "they're all just outside enjoying the sun all day." It aired on TBS November 4th.

      "I instantly got very upset about the lack of intelligence this man portrayed on national TV," said Cowles.

      Cowles and her students sprung into action, writing letters in hopes of setting Holmes and his agriculturally illiterate counterparts straight.

      "Agriculture is a part of their life and is what makes their life possible, it's how they get back and forth to work everyday, it gives them fuel, it's how they have running water in their house, it's how their house is powered, it's how they eat, it's how they get clothes, it's society, it's the economy, it's everything," said Abby Snyder, an agriculture student at Kirksville Area Technical Center.

      Even though agriculture is a very pervasive part of everyday life, misconceptions and stereotypes like the one in this video continue to spread.

      "It just shows that we as agriculturalists need to work harder as far as promoting in the inner cities and maybe places that aren't as rural like where their food comes from, because it doesn't come from a grocery store, it doesn't come from a factory, it comes from a farm and unfortunately not enough people know about that," said Allie Kelsey, another agriculture student at KATC.

      These young agriculturalists have their work cut out for them, but they hope to continue increasing agriculture literacy one letter at a time.