The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has recognized 15 educators – teachers and classroom volunteers – for their exceptional efforts to encourage agricultural literacy. Those recognized will each receive $1,500 scholarships to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, June 18-21. The Foundation, through the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education, sponsors the scholarships in cooperation with the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee.
This year’s recipients are: Melody Baker, Hillcrest Elementary, Troy, Tennessee; Michael Bechtel, Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa; Katie Buckley, LeRoy CUSD #2, LeRoy, Illinois; Christina Cassel, Southampton Intermediate School, Southampton, New York; Paula Guidry, L. Leo Judice Elementary, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana; Rena House, Cannon County High School, Woodbury, Tennessee; Julie Keppy, Scott County Ag in the Classroom, Durant, Iowa; Stacey Lauwers, Michigan Farm Bureau FARM Science Lab and St. Clair County Farm Bureau, Capac, Michigan; Stephanie Locke, DeRuyter Central School, Cazenovia, New York; Amy Mastin, Kelliher School, Tenstrike, Minnesota; Sarah McArdle, Berne Knox Westerlo Elementary, Delanson, New York; Justin McDowell, Hamilton Elementary School, Meigs, Georgia; Jennifer Pietsch, Orcas Island Public School, Eastsound, Washington state; Megan Richner, Stockton R-1 High School, El Dorado Springs, Missouri; and Christopher Woodburn, Denver Public Schools Office of Sustainability, Denver, Colorado.
The conference helps educators from across the nation learn how to incorporate real-life agricultural applications into science, social studies, language arts, math and nutrition lessons. Scholarship recipients were judged on their past use of innovative programs to educate students about agriculture as well as plans to implement information gained at the NAITC conference in their own lesson plans and share the information with other teachers and volunteer educators.
The American Farm Bureau Federation and state Farm Bureaus also support and participate in the program’s efforts. The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education honors two former American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee chairwomen, Berta White and Linda Reinhardt, who were leaders in early national efforts to educate about agriculture and improve agricultural literacy.