N.D. educators win national awards

Created: 5/21/10 (Fri) | Topic: Leadership

North Dakota will be well-represented in the awards category at the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Baltimore this June.

Ginger Deitz, a fourth-grade teacher at Bennett Elementary in Fargo, earned the national Teacher of Excellence award for her commitment to educating her students about agriculture. She is one of only five educators nationwide to receive the honor, and will receive an all-expense paid trip to the conference, plus a $500 stipend.

Jill Vigesaa of Horace, will receive the first-ever Ag Advocate Award of the National Ag in the Classroom Consortium. She is the only national winner, and will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the conference and a $500 stipend. Jill works for the Foster County Soil Conservation District and coordinates a regional environmental education series. She was instrumental on the writing team for the nationally recognized curriculum of Food, Land and People and serves as the state coordinator and on the national steering committee.

Both educators were nominated by Gail Bakko, North Dakota Farm Bureau Director of Special Programs. Gail serves as the state contact for the N.D. Agriculture in the Classroom program. Bakko, Deitz and Vigesaa have been members of the N.D. Agriculture in the Classroom Council for many years.

“It is a pleasure to work with this talented team of educators who understand the importance of educating the next generation of consumers on the role agriculture plays in our everyday life,” Bakko says.

Bakko, Deitz and Vigesaa will be on the road this summer holding Food, Land and People workshops for K-12 educators all over the state. The Food, Land and People series is offered through North Dakota State University’s Distance and Continuing Education. Learn more about DCE at

“This successful partnership has been instrumental in reaching hundreds of educators and students over the last several years,” Bakko says. Any questions regarding this may be directed to Gail at or by calling the NDFB Fargo office at 800-367-9668.

To learn more about the educator workshops visit

Pictured from left in the photo above are Vigesaa, Deitz and Bakko.

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