Maryland Farm Bureau’s own Jo-Ann Chason is a recent recipient of the Christy Sue Lilja Resource Grant. Formerly known as White-Reinhardt Resource Grants, educators apply to receive $100 to spend on agriculture literacy books and resources from the AFBFA store.
Chason, former Baltimore County Farm Bureau president and current Maryland Farm Bureau board member for Harford and Cecil counties, teaches in the Highlands School, Bel Air, a school specializing in students with learning differences.
With a horticulture background, she is the “Growing Greater” teacher, touching all the grades, even as a part-time teacher. She said throughout her life she has tried to educate about agriculture, and when this opportunity came along and she was hired, she even got paid for her passion. The Chason farm grows produce, but also has dairy cows and chicken.
Chason marveled about the amount and quality of the materials in the AFBFA store. “They have an unbelievable amount of resources, and the variety is conducive to different styles of teaching. I even purchased some games. They had Maryland Farm Bureau member Chuck Fry’s book, “Tales of the Dairy Godmother: Chuck’s Ice Cream Wish.” It’s so easy to apply, as well, that I encourage others to.”
Chason said she has loved being able to connect the dots for kids, as she likens herself an activist for agriculture. “I think it’s great these funds aren’t meant just for ag educators. You’re sharing about agriculture, but in an organic way. I thank the foundation for doing this for us,” she said.
The grants awarded 51 winners this year. The CSL Foundation was established to carry on late AFBFA director Christy Lilja’s beliefs of helping others in need and to continue to advocate for educating K-12 teachers and students about the importance of agriculture.