Skaneateles, New York
Farm Credit Affiliation
Farm Credit East
Christine Fesko was working on the family dairy farm when a woman stopped her car to ask if
she could take a picture of Christine’s cow. The woman was pointing to a horse.
That night, Christine
told her husband Rick this story, concluding that “someone
should make videos to teach kids about farming." Rick challenged her by asking “Who
do you think should make these videos?” She replied that the person should be
an educator, someone who lived and worked on a farm and could explain what it
was like. “Sounds like you,’ he countered.
the birth of Christine's “On the Farm” video series, which now number 11 and have
won eight Parents Choice Awards. Three years after she made her first video, Christine
developed a school curriculum with modules like “Corncob Calculation.” Responding
to interest from teachers, in 2000 she renovated an old barn to become the
Discovery Center where she has hosted thousands of students, using farm examples
to teach them problem solving and simple mechanics.
Christine was sought after for speaking engagements across the country on subjects
ranging from promotion of ag to death and dying. Ask Christine what drove her to
take on these new enterprises and she’s quick to say “It was never about money.”
Instead, she wanted to help farm kids to feel better about growing up on a farm
and inspire non-farm kids to want to grow up to be farmers.
proud that the U.S. Immigration Service in New York City used her videos to
educate prospective citizens about agriculture. She gets emotional when she
recalls a telephone call from Fred Rogers (yes, Mister Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood fame) encouraging her to
keep making videos, and she loved it when a six-year-old sent her a video tour of
his farm. Christine is also thrilled that farmers’ postings on social media and You Tube
videos are bringing the story of farming to the public, joining her in her mission to educate consumers about how their food gets to their tables.
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