McLean County Fair has named Carrie Vogel to serve as Agriculture Literacy Coordinator for the McLean County Ag in the Classroom program.
“Carrie brings a great deal of experience and knowledge in communicating about agriculture to diverse audiences. We look forward to working with her and continuing the success of our local Ag in the Classroom program,” says Carly Rickard, McLean County Fair board member and co-chair of the McLean County Ag Education committee.
Vogel holds an Agricultural Communications degree from the University of Illinois and has worked as a farm radio broadcaster and as a preschool teacher.
“I look forward to connecting teachers with resources that will help them to teach their students about the importance and impact of agriculture in our county,” Vogel says. “I’m excited to bring hands-on learning about food and farming to classrooms in Bloomington-Normal and surrounding communities.
McLean County Ag in the Classroom reaches more than 9,000 K-12 students annually at public, private and home school programs in McLean County.
Vogel will take the reins from Bridget Caldwell, who plans to retire from the position as of Dec. 31, 2021. Caldwell has served as Ag Literacy Coordinator since 2013.
“We congratulate Bridget on her retirement and are excited to continue offering free lessons and activities to local schools with our new coordinator,” says Austin O’Neall, local farmer and co-chair of the McLean County Ag Education Committee.
From books about pollinators and to biographies about important agriculture innovators, twelve McLean County teachers received book grants to add ag-related books & activities to their classrooms.
2021-22 Winners include:
Robert Harrison, Oakdale Elementary
Stacia Rockhold, Prairieland Elementary
Gillian Schenk, Normal West HS
Stacie Lange, Towanda Elementary
Kristen Hammer, Fox Creek Elementary
Suzie Schertz, Prairieland Elementary
Morgan Glasson, Parkside Junior High
Susan Steinbach, Sugar Creek Elementary
Kathy Rasch, Prairieland Elementary
Kacy Killian, Eugene Field
Amanda Stanko, Corpus Christi
Tina Thomas, Stevenson Elementary
In addition, Alison Flessnor from Tri-Valley Elementary a Project Grant for her proposed “Down on the Farm” lessons.
“Each year our teacher grant program is very competitive, and our judging panel is amazed at the unique programs teachers use to infuse agriculture into their curriculum,” says Kevin Daugherty, Director, Illinois Center for Agricultural Engagement and IAITC.
The grants are supported with funding from the IAA Foundation.
“We take pride in providing resources so teachers can continue to engage and inspire students. These grants are a meaningful way for the IAA Foundation to partner with likeminded organizations to fulfill our mission to support the future of agriculture through education,” says Susan Moore, Director of the IAA Foundation.
Partner organizations of IAITC include Illinois Farm Bureau, Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE), University of Illinois Extension, Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Growers, Illinois Pork Producers, Illinois Soybean Association, Midwest Dairy Association, Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
McLean County Ag in the Classroom sponsored a friendly competition among local FFA Chapters for the #SoilYourUndiesMcLeanCounty Challenge. Ag students buried 2 pairs of undies in 2 locations on their school grounds & then dug them up 60 days later.
Thanks to Olympia, Heyworth, Tri-Valley & Lexington FFA Chapters for participating! Check out the results of our experiments in the photos below.