Summary 2021 — Indiana
Innovative Programming Conducted and Educational Resources Developed
- Indiana Farm Bureau Book of the Year (2021 was the 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 Farm Bureau AITC program in conjunction with Cutting Edge Curriculum have developed a Middle School Agriscience library via the MyCAERT website. 2021 was the half-way point of this project with 40 lessons completed. All Indiana agriculture teachers will have access to the subscription based library with support from Indiana Soybean Alliance for the 2022 calendar year. Several other partners such as Indiana Pork, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Spriestersbach Farm Corporation, and Farm Credit Mid-America have supported the middle school agriscience library project.
Major Program Impacts or Outcomes
AITC Volunteers struggle to find what fits for them in a new “virtual” world. I have seen a slight swing in our volunteer demographic. Our traditional “older” volunteer is not comfortable in the virtual world and will not be returning to the classroom visits due to health concerns. There have been additional “stay-at-home” parents who have become interested in serving as a volunteer than what we have had in the past. Our Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Ag Professional (YFAP) state committee has adopted classrooms this past year which has encouraged additional YFAP members to participate in AITC visits. Thus has helped our overall impacts with the involvement of the YFAP state committee.
Other agriculture industry groups have sent employees to the AITC program to serve as volunteers and encourage their involvement in the program as a philanthropy effort.
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.