John Olson earned statewide recognition for decades of volunteer work helping non-farmers learn about food and farming. Olson was named the 2020 Illinois Ag in the Classroom Volunteer of the Year and recognized at the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting Dec. 7.
In the 1980s, Olson and others hosted hundreds of local fourth graders for farm field trips. He was also involved with the development of an ag exhibit at the Children’s Discovery Museum starting in the mid 1990s.
Olson served as a founding member of the local ag education committee that created a fun, educational exhibit at the McLean County Fair called the Food & Farm Fun Zone. He designed and built several hands-on exhibits including a combine cab simulator that lets visitors see harvest from the driver’s seat and a grain bin kiosk with interactive videos and games.
He also served on the McLean County Farm Bureau and McLean County Fair Board of Directors.