McLean County Farm Bureau

Bane, Stanko Earn IL Ag in the Classroom Honors


A McLean County teacher and a McLean County farmer earned statewide recognition for their Ag in the Classroom efforts.

Pat Bane, a McLean County hog farmer from Arrowsmith, was named an Illinois Ag in the Classroom Volunteer of the Year for decades of work helping others learn about agriculture.

Bane helped establish the McLean County Fair Food & Farm Fun Zone educational exhibit and continues to serve on the committee to help plan and facilitate activities each year.

Bane has been featured in the Illinois Ag in the Classroom Pork Ag Mag. He has also hosted farm tours for state legislators and community leaders. He received national recognition
and served as a spokesperson for pork farmers at events across the country as the 2018 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year.

Bane currently serves on the National Pork Board and previously served as board member for McLean County Farm Bureau and McLean County Fair.

Amanda Stanko, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Educator at Corpus Christi Catholic School in Bloomington, received recognition as the 2024 Illinois Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year.

Stanko teaches more than 275 Kindergarten – 6th grade students project-based lessons on a wide range of topics including plant lifecycles, soil, composting and more.

Her passion for teaching about agriculture has led her to enroll in a Master of Agricultural
Education program with the hope of establishing an FFA chapter at her school in the future.

Stanko will receive a trip to the 2024 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. She will also be the Illinois nominee for the USDA National Excellence in Teaching Agriculture Award.

Bane and Stanko were honored Dec. 3 at the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Chicago.

2024 IL Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year