Board, Volunteers, Friends Help Staffer Diane Merrion Celebrate her Retirement
On July 13, 2022, on Diane Merrion’s final day of work for the Cook County Farm Bureau, approximately 55 Ag Literacy supporters helped the Director of Ag Literacy retire in style! Board members, Ag Literacy Team members, Ag in the Classroom presenters past and present, education partners, farmers and staff joined together for a celebratory dinner, cake and gifts at the Farm Bureau building following the Party for the Pollinator event (which Diane assisted in its success).
Following dinner, Bob Rohrer, Cook County Farm Bureau Manager, read a quote written by Merrion in her Co-Operator column in July: “All good books must come to an end, although many stay with you forever”. “How very true with you, Diane!”
Mike Rauch, Chairman of the Ag Literacy Team, remarked, “Diane’s smile has been so warm and welcoming throughout her service to the organization for the team and volunteers that she led…we are going to miss her leadership”. During her work at CCFB, Diane and her team imparted over a quarter million students with ag education.
At the podium, CCFB President, Janet McCabe reviewed some key data regarding Diane’s service to the Ag Literacy Department.
- Diane began as an AITC Administrative Assistant in 2009
- Named Ag in the Classroom Coordinator in 2012
- Her title was broadened to Director of Ag Literacy with additional responsibilities.
- Over the course of 13 years, she led efforts including:
- 12,222 classrooms
- 291,199 students
- Influenced thousands of teachers
- Created numerous partnerships
- Recruited teachers to become members
- The Covid years felt like another 13 years as it could have ended our ed efforts. However, with grit, determination, creativity and leadership (and with Jill at her side), the Ag Literacy program prevailed and paved the way for new opportunities today.
Bob Rohrer wrapped up the remarks by saying, “Diane radiates sincerity, empathy, support and awareness! Thank you for always bringing your best to the organization. Your efforts made CCFB and AITC standout! Congratulations!“.
Diane Merrion provided complimentary remarks regarding the Board, Team members, leaders, presenters, farmer supporters, staff, and her family. She expressed appreciation to the Cook County Farm Bureau for giving her, without a farm background, the confidence and freedom to create and succeed in the world of Ag Literacy!”