Katrina MiltonDirector of Ag Literacy
What impresses you about the Cook County Farm Bureau?
As the newest member of the CCFB staff, what has impressed me the most is everyone’s willingness to help one another. From helping each other plan and volunteer at our annual events, answering questions from farm bureau members and the public, to even helping with paper jams at the office printer, everyone goes out of their way to assist. Everyone has supported me and welcomed me with open arms into my new role. The teamwork and friendly community of the farm bureau stand out the most to me!
When you are not working on FB related business, what is something you like to spend time doing?
When not working at the farm bureau, my biggest hobby is photography. I bring my DSLR with me almost everywhere I go. It’s not rare for me to take 250+ photos while at an event or 2,000 photos a day while on vacation. My photos decorate my office and home, and I love sharing my creativity and art with others. Flowers and gardens are my favorite photography subjects.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is pierogi. My Polish heritage is important to me, and I love making – and eating – the dumplings. My favorite kind are Ruskie with potato and cheese, fried onions, and a mountain of sour cream on top, but I love all fillings, including cabbage, mushrooms, and even fruit. Homemade pierogi always taste best, and I enjoy making traditional Polish dishes for Christmas Eve dinner, Wigilia. However, nearly every culture has a dumpling: Italian ravioli, Chinese wontons, Indian samosas, Spanish empanadas, Japanese gyoza… I’m making myself hungry just thinking about them all!
What is your favorite tractor?
I love steam engine tractors. The history and science behind them have always amazed me. I am fascinated at the technological advances that were made during the Industrial Revolution. We still use the inventions that were created back then every day, such as the telephone and light bulb. One of my favorite events to attend is the Steam Show and Threshing Bee hosted by the Northern Illinois Steam Power Club in Sycamore. At 12 p.m. sharp, there’s the “noon toot,” when all of the steam engine whistles loudly announce that it’s lunchtime. Nothing beats the smell of burning coal or the sooty billowing smoke of a steam engine! I would love to one day travel cross-country via steam train.
What did you want to be growing up?
When I was younger, I wanted to be lots of things. A vampire slayer like Buffy, a meteorologist like Tom Skilling, a teacher, a writer, a ballerina, a librarian, and a waitress were some of my top picks. I think my role as the director of ag literacy combines a little bit of everything: writing and creativity skills, teaching and education, knowledge of a vast array of subjects, and a love of all things agricultural. Just like how the dad in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” relates everything back to Greece, I think that everything can be related back to agriculture: the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the gasoline you put into your car. I love that part of my job is to share that knowledge with others and make learning about agriculture relevant and fun.