Farm Credit Affiliation
Farm Credit Illinois
Courtney Gerstenecker is the embodiment of a young leader and advocate of agriculture.
As an exemplary high school student, Courtney was recognized with many FFA awards including a Farm Credit Illinois Scholarship in 2012. Her passion for service, youth development and agriculture propelled her to the position of 2012-2013 State FFA Reporter. In this role, she inspired nearly 30,000 young students to harness their passion for agriculture and service to their local communities. Perhaps one of her greatest accomplishments in this role was the development of an agriculture communications summit for high school students to learn how best to advocate for agriculture.
Upon completion of her tenure in office, Courtney began her post-secondary education at Kaskaskia College. There she has been involved with the Ag Club, Post-Secondary Agriculture Students, and served on the Kaskaskia College Board of Trustees as the Student Representative. In the latter role, she played an integral part in establishing the highly successful and recently established Agriculture Education Center on campus. This new structure will have lasting impact on students for decades to come with multiple classrooms and meeting space to enhance student achievement.
“The goal I hope most to achieve is to have made a positive influence on at least one person’s life,” says Courtney. “By having a passion and enthusiasm for something, for me, the agriculture industry, we are each able to use our strengths together for the betterment and continual advancement of these things.”
When not involved with school activities, Courtney continued promoting agriculture by working with Osborn Barr, a public relations and marketing agency focused on agriculture and rural America, as well as the RFD Radio Network.
Courtney is continuing her studies in Agricultural Education at Murray State University, and she hopes to become a high school agriculture teacher so she can impact and develop the next generation of agriculturalists.
“As a future high school educator, I hope to help develop successful students who have a respect and knowledge of the agriculture industry as they go out and continue to make their mark in the world,” she says. “To me, the future of agriculture holds endless opportunities, but these possibilities will not be able to come to fruition without dedication, education and collaboration.”
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