Volunteers honored at annual conference

Ten Ag in the Classroom volunteers received special recognition during Indiana Farm Bureau’s 2017 Spring Conference.

Spring Conference is organized and coordinated by the INFB Women’s Leadership Committee, and it’s an opportunity for Farm Bureau members to get together before planting season starts to learn, have fun and honor volunteers. Three hundred and fifty attended this year’s conference, held March 10 and 11 in Indianapolis.

Karen King of Clark County photo

Karen King of Clark County was honored as Ag in the Classroom Volunteer of the Year.King was selected for the award by a committee consisting of INFB staff, Women’s Leadership Committee members and a respected member of the community at large. 

Also recognized were winners of the Reaching Out Award, which honors one AITC volunteer in each Farm Bureau district who has gone above and beyond to educate youth about agriculture and who provides unique or exemplary work in educating the public about the important role agriculture plays in everyday life.

The district winners were Kathy Wyatt, District 1; Colleen Holman, Steuben County, District 2; Stacy Walker, Jasper County, District 3; Brad Kohlhagen, Adams County, District 4; Kelly Shannon, Montgomery County, District 5; Vickie Mitchell, Delaware County, District 6; Jennifer Thopy, Shelby County, District 8; David Brenner, Vanderburgh County, District 9; Jan Uhlmansiek, Dearborn County, District 10. (No nominations were received for District 7.)
Deanna Day Young photo

The conference also raised $7,000 for Bucket Buddies Mission Inc. Bucket Buddies was founded in honor of Christina Day Sutton, who died in 2014 after suffering for almost nine years with ovarian cancer.  The non-profit organization provides gift buckets containing items such as coloring books and small toys to children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses who are patients in hospitals and other settings. 

The money was raised through the silent and live auctions held during the conference. Each bucket costs around $6, said founder Deanna Day Young when accepting the donation, so the $7,000 will provide more than 1,000 buckets.

Theresa Gottbrath & Jamie Schilmiller photo

Also recognized during the conference were Floyd and Washington County Farm Bureaus, each of which won an ag education and promotion development grant.

Announced during the conference were the 2017 Agricultural and Cultural Exchange (ACE) ambassadors: Derika and Jonathon Spaetti, Spencer County, and Mark and Janet Boyer, Tipton County. The Spaettis and Boyers will represent INFB this summer on a trip to Maryland.