As public libraries across the Commonwealth reopen for in-person or curbside service, many have a new children’s book to offer.

Each year, the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture selects a book as its Book of the Year. The Book of the Year Award springs from the Foundation’s effort to identify accurate books with agriculture themes. Book of the Year selections are educational, help create positive perceptions about agriculture, inspire readers to learn more and touch their readers’ lives as well as tell the farmers’ story. The Accurate Ag Books database is available at

This year’s selection, “Full of Beans; Henry Ford Grows a Car,” authored by Peggy Thomas and illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham, is an interesting spin on the history of Henry Ford and his successes with soy products.

After the Great Depression, the famous car maker and businessman wanted to support ailing farmers. Researching ways to use farmers’ crops at his Ford Motor Company, Ford and his team discovered that the soybean was the perfect answer. Soon, Ford’s cars contained many soybean plastic parts. His commitment to soybean farmers didn’t stop there, though.

Ford not only ate soybeans, he wore clothes made of soybean fabric as well.

The farmer-leaders of the Kentucky Soybean Board appreciated the content and accuracy of this book so much that they sent a copy by mail to 122 public libraries across Kentucky. The Marshall County Library in Benton, McCracken County Library in Paducah, George Coon Library in Princeton, Lyon County Library in Eddyville and Graves County Library in Mayfield are some of the facilities in our area that have the book in their circulation.

In addition, teachers who purchase the Kentucky Agriculture and Environment in the Classroom Teacher’s Kit will receive a copy as part of the Kentucky Soybean Board’s sponsorship of that program.

Kentucky’s farmers grew more than 77 million bushels of soybeans in 2019 and are pleased to help get accurate information about some of the uses of this valuable, versatile crop into the hands of eager young readers.