Production Blog

Books to Grow the Next Generation

Pamela Smith
By  Pamela Smith , Crops Technology Editor
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Children are the seeds for tomorrow and there's no better way to share a love for agriculture than through a book. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

Start with a child if you want to plant a seed that fosters understanding of agriculture.

There's a bounty of children's books dealing with agricultural themes, but when it comes to explaining seed the one that emerges first is Cris Peterson's book: Seed Soil Sun: Earth's Recipe for Food brings the seed and growth cycles to life.

Peterson, a Wisconsin farmer and award-winning author, teams up with photographer David Lundquist to celebrate the essence of nature.

"A few seeds, a little soil, a ray of sunshine, a splash of rain, a breath of air -- this is the Earth's recipe for the food we eat," she wrote.

Peterson writes books as a sideline to helping on Four Cubs Farm, the family dairy and row crop operation. She's written 10 books for children dealing with agricultural themes. Still, she said this book remains her favorite. Released in 2014, it won a bounty of book of the year awards from state Farm Bureau and Ag in the Classroom programs. Published by Boyds Mills Press, it is now printed in paperback and perfect for grades K-3.

"We wouldn't have anything without seed, soil and sun. It's so elemental. When I talk to students and tell them without these things there would be no food, it really resonates," said Peterson. Suddenly a complex topic like photosynthesis isn't so daunting when it connects to what is on the plate each day.

And, what better way to teach the miraculous process of how tiny seeds grow to be adult plants than to start with the next generation. Find more information about Peterson's books at and

Do you have a favorite children's book with an agricultural theme? We'd love to spread the word.

Pamela Smith can be reached at

Follow her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN


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