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Foundation for Agriculture announces Book of the Year

Published: Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 1:53 p.m. CDT

NASHVILLE — The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture presented its sixth annual “Book of the Year” award to Cat Urbigkit for “The Guardian Team: On the Job with Rena and Roo.” The book introduces young readers to Rena and Roo, a dog and burro team at work on a sheep ranch in Wyoming. Urbigkit included dynamic real-life photographs in the book.

Urbigkit is an award-winning writer and photographer who lives on a Wyoming sheep ranch. She writes for several media outlets and blogs, and honed her writing skills as a newspaper reporter for more than a decade.

A firm believer in using the written word to educate the public about agriculture, Urbigkit has channeled her enthusiasm for farming into reaching school-aged children in her entertaining and educational book.

“Living on a working ranch, I see beautiful things every day,” said Urbigkit. “I enjoyed watching the relationship grow between the burro, the pup and the lambs, as these young animals got to know each other, and as they matured together. It was a joy to watch, and it is a joy to share their story. It’s a true story, of a life in agriculture.”

The Book of the Year Award springs from the foundation’s effort to identify “accurate ag books,” a collection of more than 400 books for children, teenagers and adults that accurately cover agricultural topics. Book of the Year selections are educational, reflect farmers’ and ranchers’ love for the land and what they do, create positive public perceptions about agriculture, inspire readers to learn more and touch their readers’ lives as well as tell the farmer’s story. The Accurate Ag Books database is available at:

The foundation has created an educator’s guide and the Sheep Ag Mag publication as companion pieces to The Guardian Team: On the Job with Rena and Roo, which takes elementary students through various learning activities.

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