The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture recognized eight teachers and two volunteer educators for their exceptional efforts to encourage agricultural literacy. The educators will each receive $1,500 scholarships to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Minneapolis, Minn., in June. The Foundation, through the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education, sponsors the scholarships in cooperation with the American Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee.
This year’s teacher recipients are: Cathy Britts Axen, Central Middle School, North Aurora, Ill.; Cathy Carr, Banford Elementary School, Canton, N.Y.; Sarah Glenn, Huntsville Intermediate School, Elkins, Ark.; Shirley Lettkeman, Watonga Elementary School, Watonga, Okla.; Missy Locke, Richland Elementary School, Lynnville, Tenn.; Raymond Dennis Peavy, Lake Joy Elementary, Perry, Ga.; Andrea Jones Seagraves, Crawford County Eagle’s Nest, Musella, Ga.; and Debra Templin, Prosperity-Rikard Elementary School, Prosperity, S.C.
This year’s volunteer recipients are: Martha Cripe of Vandalia, Ill., and Melvin Grones of Seguin, Texas.
Educators nationwide attend the conference to learn how to incorporate real-life agricultural applications into science, social studies, language arts, math and nutrition lessons. Scholarship recipients were judged on past use of innovative programs to educate students about agriculture as well as future plans to implement information gained at the AITC conference in their own lesson plans and share the information with other educators.
The AITC conference joins a diverse group of organizations and speakers to address how to improve agricultural education and literacy, showcase successful programs and offer educational materials. The Agriculture Department coordinates the AITC program with the goal of helping students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society.
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.