Farm Bureau members and educators were recognized last weekend at the Indiana Farm Bureau Spring Conference for their efforts to improve agricultural literacy. “Recognizing that the average person is several generations removed from the farm shapes our education efforts,” said Isabella Chism, INFB 2nd vice president. “Our best volunteers use methods and messages that resonate with this audience, especially children, who are naturally curious about the world around them.”
Kerry Dull of Boone County received the Volunteer of the Year Award for her efforts to provide Ag in the Classroom programs to local schools. Dull was chosen from among 10 district winners of the Reaching Out Award. The award honors Ag in the Classroom volunteers who go above and beyond to educate youth about agriculture.
District winners of the Reaching Out Award:
District 1: Ruth and Larry Willy, Lake County
District 2: Dwight Moudy, Elkhart County
District 3: Linda Vandermolen, Jasper County
District 4: Patty Baker, Wells County
District 5: Kerry Dull, Boone County
District 6: Anne Smith, Wayne County
District 7: Michelle Stanger, Monroe County
District 8: Marlene Fudge, Rush County
District 9: Erna Lloyd, Spencer County
District 10: Karen King, Clark County
Two couples were selected to represent Indiana for the ACE Ambassador program. Richard and Linda VanderMolen of Jasper County and Jonathan and Kelly Shannon of Montgomery County will travel to Virginia later this year to learn about farming in that part of the country. After they return, ACE Ambassadors will give presentations on their trip at various meetings.
Two counties received grants for agriculture education and promotion. Fulton County Farm Bureau will receive $200 to buy an egg incubator/turner to teach students about chickens and egg hatching, while Benton County Farm Bureau will receive $250 for an agricultural literacy program in a local elementary school with a high volume of low-income families.
Seven members received scholarships to attend the National Ag in the Classroom conference in June. Carrie Parmenter, Posey County; Michelle Stanger, Monroe County; Erna Lloyd, Spencer County; Dwight Moudy, Elkhart County; Linda Moudy, Elkhart County; Patty Baker, Wells County; and Whitney Sauerheber, Harrison County, will travel to Louisville, Ky., to learn more about delivering effective lessons on agriculture and farming. Three teachers also received scholarships to attend the conference: Hope Light, a third grade teacher at Vinton Elementary in Tippecanoe County; Tiffnei Tague, kindergarten teacher at Vinton Elementary in Tippecanoe County; and Joy Davis, a high school nutrition and wellness teacher in the Fayette School Corporation, Fayette County.
Auctions at the event raised money for two charities. A live auction on Friday night brought in $3,435 for AgrAbility, a program that assists farmers with disabilities. A silent auction held during the conference raised $2,881 for Distinxion, founded by Steve and Lorri Zeller, who served as keynote speakers at the event.