WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nine teachers have been recognized by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture for their outstanding efforts to promote agricultural literacy. The teachers each received $1,500 scholarships to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Loveland, Colo., in June. The Foundation, through the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education, sponsors the scholarships in cooperation with the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee.
This year’s recipients are: Ellen Altdoerffer, Conestoga Elementary School, Conestoga, Pa.; Jennifer Bates, Clyde Riggs Elementary, Portland, Tenn.; Carl Erbsen, Eastland Elementary School, Lanark, Ill.; Sarah Glenn, Huntsville Intermediate School, Huntsville, Ark.; Lola Knutson, Wahpeton Public Schools—Central Elementary, Wahpeton, N.D.; Dohnia Owens Galloway, St. John’s Elementary, Darlington, S.C.; Erik Wade, Hope Elementary School, Hope, Maine; Rebecca Whitmer, Keystone Heights Jr.-Sr. High School, Keystone Heights, Fla.; and Bridget Young, Alcoa Elementary, Alcoa, Tenn.
“We’re pleased to honor nine outstanding teachers this year, with scholarships to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference,” said Terry Gilbert, a Kentucky farmer, chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee and a Foundation board member. “Attendees consistently describe this conference as valuable for educators, which is why we’re pleased to provide the opportunity to attend to so many deserving teachers,” Gilbert said.
Several hundred teachers typically attend the conference, to explore incorporating real-life agricultural applications into language arts, math, nutrition, science and social studies 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 classrooms and share the information with other teachers.
The AITC conference brings together 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.
Colorado Agriculture in the Classroom and Western Region Agriculture in the Classroom are hosting the annual conference this year in conjunction with the national AITC program. The American Farm Bureau and state Farm Bureaus also support and participate in the program’s efforts. The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education honors two former AFB Women’s Leadership Committee chairwomen, Berta White and Linda Reinhardt, who were leaders in early national efforts to expand the outreach of agricultural education and improve agricultural literacy.