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'Coolbean' Book Sent to 4th Grade Classrooms in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/19/2014

The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board is celebrating National Agricultural Literacy Week by mailing copies of 'Coolbean the Soybean' to 4th grade teachers in the state this week. Coolbean was written by Shawn Conley, PhD, an agronomy professor and Soybean and Wheat Extension Specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The story explains the job of farmers and agronomists through characters named Haila and Aliah, respectively, who Conley named after his daughters. Along the way, Coolbean explains modern farming techniques, how a seed becomes a plant and then produces a crop. The book tells the story of how soil, sunshine, and water affect the growth of the plant.

The target audience is students in grades 3-5. The content was developed in collaboration with a professional science writer who ensured the material is age appropriate and matches Common Core Standards in Reading and Next Generation Science Standards. Hands-on learning activities to accompany the book are available at

The book was published by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. The Societies publish quality, peer-reviewed books, including works for children, in an effort to grow future scientists and to cultivate an appreciation for agricultural sciences, land stewardship, and the innovation required to sustain a growing global population.

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