Summary 2020 —
Innovative Programming Conducted and Educational Resources Developed
New Program: Adopt a Classroom: https://www.infarmbureau.org/INFBAgEd/adoptaclassroom
Existing Program: Summer Workshops - We had planned to conduct three different sites for the summer workshops. These had to be moved to a virtual platform. We had almost double amount of attendance in compared to previous years.
We developed the following resources:
- Indiana Ag Mag: https://www.infarmbureau.org/INFBAgEd/indiana-ag-mag
- Indiana Farm Bureau Book of the Year (5th year of the program)(additional Book of the Year materials are available for farm bureau members within our county marketing department; these include a Book of the Year Toolkit, trivia wheel inserts, ten-steps to follow for a book donation project, along with templates for farm bureau members to use while promoting the book): https://www.infarmbureau.org/INFBAgEd/book-of-the-year
- Indiana Ag Escape: https://www.infarmbureau.org/INFBAgEd/indiana-ag-escape
- Ag Day Toolkit is also available for farm bureau members within our county marketing department: templates for members to use, trivia wheels, flyers, social media posts, and Virtual Ag Day 2021 Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/c/IndianaFarmBureau/playlists
Major Program Impacts or Outcomes
Attempting to break the "old" mold: AITC classroom visits by volunteers has to be done a certain way. I feel the virtual environment has caused all of us to look at events/programs a whole different way. For many traditional volunteers, there was a lack of confidence. I have witness a few volunteers acknowledging the only way to make a difference is to accept and keep moving.
Always look for other avenues: When our in-person events were getting canceled I realized starting the 4th quarter, there were funds not being used. I requested to reallocate funds to complete a revision to the Indiana Ag Mag. With the help of a third party company, the graphics/designs were complete. And, we were able to create an interactive version. Links to videos and resources allowed the door of collaboration with many industry leaders to be apart of this project.
Think differently and pivot: In 2019, we conducted a big book donation project for several classrooms in Marion County/Indianapolis. We didn't want to miss a year. As we approached the holiday season, schools were willing to work with us. We set-up specific times for contact-less delivery (make sure an administrator was available, ring doorbell, drop off books and wave). We were able to donate 410 books to schools in Indianapolis. These were different schools from what we visited in 2019. Every interesting, how their reaction to agriculture was welcoming! We even had a "shout" out from a lead counselor of Indianapolis Public Schools to "agriculture" being a specific need for "our" students. Win. Win.
Program Leader Biosketch
Lindi Kocher is Indiana Farm Bureau's education coordinator. In her position, she oversees the Indiana Farm Bureau Agriculture in the Classroom program and provides training and resources for both volunteers and professional educators. Lindi Kocher joined Indiana Farm Bureau in 2019. Prior to that, she was a high school agriculture teacher. Lindi has served as a contractual writer developing and transcribing agricultural education curriculum. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural and environmental communications and education from the University of Illinois. She also holds her Master's degree in agricultural education from the University of Illinois.