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Darlene Arneson is among state leaders chosen to help boost ag literacy in classrooms across the U.S.

Arneson was tapped by the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO), a non-profit membership organization that supports Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) state programs around the country, to represent the Central Region.

Recently elected officers to lead the group in its efforts to increase agricultural literacy in K-12 classrooms nationwide include: Will Fett, executive director of the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation in Des Moines, IA, president, and Tammy Maxey, senior manager of the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, has been elected president-elect by NAITCO members for 2018-19.

In addition, Katie Carpenter, coordinator of New York Agriculture in the Classroom, has been elected treasurer, and Tonya Wible, education director of Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation, has been elected secretary by the NAITCO Executive Committee. Rounding out the officer team is Immediate Past President Willie Grenier, executive director of Maine Agriculture in the Classroom.

“We’ve got a great team of Agriculture in the Classroom representatives from around the country to lead our national organization,” Fett said. “I look forward to working with them as we strive to show teachers how effective using agricultural concepts can be to teach reading, writing, science, social studies, math and more.”

Regional representatives

Central Region – Darlene Arneson of Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s AITC program and Tonia Ritter of Michigan Farm Bureau’s AITC program.

Southern Region – Scott Christmas of Kentucky Farm Bureau’s AITC program and Audrey Harmon of Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry’s AITC program.

Western Region – Amber Smyer of Nevada Department of Agriculture’s AITC program and Jessica Jansen of Oregon Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.

Eastern Region – Secretary Wible and Treasurer Carpenter also serve as the Eastern Region representatives of the organization.

Arneson returned as the Wisconsin Agriculture in the Classroom Coordinator in October 2016 after a 2 ½ year departure. She previously served in that role from September 2004 – 2014 and 2016- present.

She also served as the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation Director from 2008-2014 and was the Dane County Agriculture in the Classroom coordinator for Dane County Farm Bureau, Madison. 1990 – 2004. 

Previous to that, Arneson was an Agriculture Education Instructor and FFA Advisor at Cashton High School and Cambridge High School.

NAITCO is a non-profit organization representing most of the 50 state Agriculture in the Classroom programs around the country. Its mission is to educate K-12 teachers and students about the importance of agriculture by providing them with web-based materials, workshops and awards programs that demonstrate how agriculture can be used to effectively teach core subject areas.

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