Volunteers honored at conference

Farm Bureau volunteers gathered in Indianapolis last month for the annual Spring Conference, which offered professional development, networking and educational opportunities to members from all over Indiana.

The INFB Women’s Leadership Committee has hosted the conference, held this year on March 9, for many years in an effort to improve agriculture education efforts and honor the dedicated volunteers who are helping to shape Indiana’s agricultural future.

Spring Conference_GottbrathTheresa_Volunteer of the YearAt this year’s conference, the committee honored Theresa Gottbrath as the Agriculture in the Classroom program’s Volunteer of the Year. Gottbrath is a grain farmer and retired middle school educator. Since her retirement, she has dedicated her time to volunteering for AITC.

 Outside of her time in the classroom and on the farm, Gottbrath is actively involved in Lions Club, and she’s a Master Gardener and is a member of the East Washington School Board.

Jane Whitsitt, Dubois County, also was honored at the conference for her participation in the Agriculture in the Classroom program as a volunteer for the past 25 years. 

Each year, the Women’s Leadership Committee also chooses two of the top Agriculture in the Classroom volunteers to receive scholarships to attend the national conference, which this year will be held in Little Rock, Arkansas. This year’s scholarship winners are Debbie Trotter and Carol Graves, both of Clark County. Joining the two volunteers in Little Rock will be educators Lauren Searcy of Cascade High School in Hendricks County and Kelly Shannon of New Market Elementary School, Montgomery County.

Grants are available to counties that show extraordinary dedication to agricultural education. This year’s recipients were the Wabash County Farm Bureau for its culinary class program and the Washington County Farm Bureau for purchasing supplies to teach students how to grow popcorn, sunflowers and pumpkins.