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Nebraska First Lady Shares Bushels of Stories at GIPS

Nebraska First Lady, Suzanne Pillen, reading to 4th grade students at the Howard Elementary media center.

February 19th, 2024

As another growing season is on the horizon, First Lady Suzanne Pillen wants to ensure children in Nebraska know where their food, fiber, and fuel come from. During her time as Nebraska’s First Lady, it is one of Suzanne Pillen’s missions to share accurate agriculture books with students in Nebraska. Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom helped to create Bushels of Stories to connect students with agriculture through story.

“Books are interactive and require kids to think. I am passionate about helping kids think about how agriculture is a part of their everyday life. I hope that by reading accurate agriculture books to students, we can help more students understand how their food starts on a farm and ends up on their plate,” said First Lady Pillen.

On Monday, February 19, First Lady Suzanne Pillen visited more than 220 students at Engleman Elementary, Howard Elementary, Seedling Mile Elementary, and Wasmer Elementary at Grand Island Public Schools (GIPS).

"We are incredibly grateful to have Nebraska's First Lady sharing the power of reading with us at Grand Island Public Schools. Expanding horizons about the importance of agriculture in our state is a wonderful way to support early childhood literacy for our 4th Graders. Thank you to Suzanne Pillen for supporting us, our students, and our community!" said Matt Fisher, GIPS Superintendent.

Engleman Elementary 4th Graders and teachers smiling with Nebraska First Lady, Suzanne Pillen, in the Engelman media center.

Agriculture is a uniquely important educational topic for Nebraskans as it is the driver of Nebraska’s economy. Agriculture impacts all Nebraskans each time they eat, put fuel in their vehicles, turn on their lights, or put on clothes. Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation works to share this important message in elementary classrooms.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation manages the Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom Program (AITC). AITC presents relevant and accurate information about agriculture that connects students to their source of food, fiber, and energy, demonstrating the positive impact of agriculture.

“As students learn about how their food, fiber, and energy are produced, we inch closer to every Nebraskan from preschooler to retiree understanding the importance of agriculture,” said Courtney Shreve, senior director of outreach education with the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation.

Nebraska First Lady, Suzanne Pillen, smiling with Seedling Mile Elementary 4th Graders and Teachers.

Throughout Gov. Pillen’s time in office, the First Lady will fulfill requests to read agriculture books to classrooms across the state. Gov. and First Lady Pillen both recognize how important it is that every Nebraskan understands where their food, fiber, and energy comes from.

To learn more about a Bushel of Stories visit go to

The mission of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is to engage youth, educators, and the general public to promote an understanding of the vital importance of agriculture in the lives of all Nebraskans. The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For more information about the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, visit