Summary 2019 — Indiana
In 2019, Indiana Farm Bureau education staff developed an educator guide to support the third INFB Book of the Year, Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals. A “National Read a Book” day guide was provided for our county volunteers. The guide’s purpose was to encourage our volunteers to use an accurate agriculture book to celebrate National Read a Book Day. Indiana agricultural literacy week continue in 2019. A weekly guide was created to help our county volunteers to identify the purpose and goals of highlighting an agriculture literacy week within their county programming. The guide also provided a weekly plan to help volunteers identify activities and resources available. A summer workshop was organized by the Indiana Farm Bureau Education staff. This workshop targeted agriculture in the classroom volunteers and K-12 teachers. The workshop highlighted the 2019 Book of the Year, Compost Stew including the author and illustrator. The workshop also provided exposure to lessons found on the national AITC curriculum matrix. In preparation of the fourth Indiana Farm Bureau Book of the Year, a collaboration with the Indiana Farm Bureau Woman’s Leadership Committee took place as educational activities were developed to enhance the book selection. These activities were guided by the educator coordinator and aligned to the Indiana State Standards. The committee prepared presentations to celebrate the Book of the Year at the Indiana Farm Bureau State Convention. https://www.infarmbureau.org/our-programs/ag-in-the-classroom/classroom-center
Major Program Impacts or Outcomes
70 Indiana teachers attended the Indiana Farm Bureau AITC Summer Workshop. This is a 22% increase in teacher attendance. 250 Teachers were exposed to the national AITC curriculum matrix through Junior Achievement Job Spark event. 660 Marion County students participated in an AITC classroom visit. This is our first step in gaining ground in the Indianapolis schools.
Lindi Kocher is the education coordinator of the Indiana Farm Bureau. This position oversees the Indiana Agriculture in the Classroom program in Indiana. Lindi immediately recognized the need to increase volunteer awareness of education tools and resources. She coordinated outreach meetings to take place in five locations right after the first of the year. Another opportunity for growth is the expansion of teacher workshops. In 2020, the Indiana AITC will host three summer workshops to entice more teachers and volunteers to incorporate agriculture education within the classroom. Lindi is looking forward to working with more teachers and volunteers through the development of new programs and activities. Lindi is a former high school agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. She earned her bachelor and master degrees from the University of Illinois. Her teaching career started immediately after college and lasted six years in Illinois. In her early years of teaching, she was recognized by the National Association of Agricultural Educators as the Illinois winner of Teachers Turn the Key Award. She has served as a contractual writer developing and transcribing agriculture education curriculum, then returned to the classroom after a ten year departure. Lindi was an Agriculture Education Instructor and FFA Advisor at Clinton Central High School. She was responsible for teaching agriculture power, welding, horticulture and plant and soil science courses.