Katie and her husband, Andy, are seventh generation farmers raising farm kids, corn, soybeans, and seed corn with Andy’s family in north central Illinois. Katie grew up on a small farm raising cows, corn, beans and pigs and learned through 4-H and FFA, the value of listening and conversing with others about agriculture. Katie serves as the county’s ag literacy coordinator and brings Ag in the Classroom lessons to more than 4,000 youth and 240 teachers in K-12 education. Her passion for farming and positive agriculture dialogue can be found on her blog theillinoisfarmgirl.com. Here she shares stories about her kids, the farm boy and farm princess, recipes and thoughts about the hot topics in food and farming. Through social media she strives to share a positive message about American agriculture and the choices both farmers and consumers share when it comes to food.
She graduated from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO with a degree in journalism and agriculture economics, and has worked in convention management for the National FFA Organization, fundraising and development for Hospice of the Rock River Valley, and marketing for her local Extension unit. Katie and Andy understand the need to invest in their own communities and do so with involvement in their church, 4-H, Fair Association, county farm bureau, township board, FFA alumnis, hospital board and county’s United Way. Most recently, Katie worked with other Illinois farm girls to bring the Illinois Harvest Dinner to life, an evening of farmers and non-farmers sharing a great meal and even better conversation.
For two years (2012-14), Katie served as one of the Faces of Farming & Ranching by the US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. She has met with consumers, food industry representatives in order to share her farm story, answer questions and encourages other farmers and ranchers to share their stories as well. Katie shares her experiences with the farm/food conversation by participating and moderating panel discussions and through keynotes and workshops. She has worked with many groups including: