Educator Scholarships Spur Educating about Agriculture

The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has recognized nine 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 Hershey, Pa., 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: Kevin Russell Atterberg, Culler Middle School, Lincoln, Neb.; Jeremy Bowman, Naomi Elementary School, Summerville, Ga.; Kelly Burgess, Maine School Administrative District 15, Windham, Maine; Denise Chybrzynski, South Butler Intermediate Elementary School, Butler, Pa.; Maureen Marino, John L. Golden Elementary School, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Rachel Morris, Northside Elementary School, Savannah, Tenn.; Karrie Lynn Perrin, Toccoa Elementary School, Toccoa, Ga.; Debra Wagner, St. Paul Lutheran School, Lakeland, Fla.; and Mary Zumwalt, Altamont Lutheran, Altamont, Il.

This year’s volunteer recipients are: Sheila Everhart of Janesville, Wis., and Ashley Prue of Green Bay, Wis.

Educators nationwide attend the conference to learn 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 teacher and volunteer 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.