Premier

Fifth-graders at Fisher Grade School display a donation from Champaign-based Premier Coop that benefits them through the Champaign County 4-H Teen Teachers program. ProvidedFifth-graders at Fisher Grade School display a donation from Champaign-based Premier Coop that benefits them through the Champaign County 4-H Teen Teachers program. Provided

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FISHER — A group of teens invested in passing on agricultural-related knowledge to younger students is among the beneficiaries of a donation from Premier Cooperative.

The Champaign-based farmer-owned cooperative with 26 locations in Central Illinois recently gave $5,000 to the Illinois 4-H Foundation. Of that amount, $3,000 was earmarked for educational programs in Champaign County.

Myla Munro, the Champaign County Youth Development educator at the Champaign County Extension office, said the money staying locally will help pay for an “Ag Discovery” curriculum being used by 4-H Teen Teachers.

"It’s designed to solve challenges centered around issues like food security, water quality, health and wellness, energy, and the environment, all while exploring careers in agriculture,” Munro explained. “To do this, we have 4-H Teen Teachers who act as facilitators in fifth-grade classrooms. We go to the high school in Fisher and train the trainer, and the next day, they go to the fifth grade.”

Munro said with the gift from Premier, she hopes to expand the 4-H Teen Teachers program, which has been around at Fisher High School for about five years, to the Heritage, Mahomet-Seymour and Rantoul districts.

"We have teen teachers teaching about environment and careers in agriculture. The model is getting older teens involved in programming and giving them ownership of a program,” she said.

The other $2,000 of Premier’s donation will go to the Illinois 4-H Partner Program to support programs statewide such as 4-H Teen Teachers, Ag in the Classroom, club growth, and college and workplace readiness.

Reporter

Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is mschenk@news-gazette.com, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).