Supporter of Minnesota FFA for more than
Preparing Those Who Educate
As America’s largest farmer-owned cooperative, CHS invests in programs that develop agricultural leaders. To help empower those who educate the next generation, the CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS, donated nearly $3.5 million in 2016 to the University of Minnesota to help transform agriculture education and build strong communities in greater Minnesota.
The gift helped create two new classrooms, built specifically for active learning. These technology-enhanced spaces help students develop 21st century teaching skills through experiential learning. Partner this with an updated curriculum that focuses on technology and integrated STEM learning. Ultimately, this program helps create the next generation of top-notch teachers in greater Minnesota.
One such teacher is Janelle Hueners, a 2020 ag education graduate who teaches classes like plant science and welding at Detroit Lakes Senior High School. “Teaching ag-focused classes is more hands on than a traditional classroom, and I got to practice that first-hand while studying at the U,” says the Lindstrom, Minn., native. “I had these amazing tools, like specialized lab space and new tools that allowed me to collaborate with my classmates in new ways, at my disposal.”
Hueners is also mentoring the next generation as an FFA adviser and by creating a student project in partnership with Bergens, a greenhouse based in Detroit Lakes that grows plants for retailers like Lowes and Home Depot. “Working with students to help discover their passions is one of the best things about being a teacher,” she says. “I always knew I wanted to work in agriculture, and working with students to grow their interest in ag helps build strong communities and a stronger ag network.”