Waseca County News:

Amy Durand is committed to her new job.

Hired as the new programs and communications director for Minnesota Agricultural Interpretive Center, Farmamerica, her first day was in January during one of the many blizzards. She said it took her three hours to get home, but she wasn’t complaining.

“It’s totally worth it (all the driving) and I love Waseca,” Durand said. “Waseca County is just God’s country down here, as they say, and getting to work at Farmamerica is pretty darn cool.”

She is in charge of spearheading new educational opportunities for youth and adults. She will be connecting Minnesota Agriculture in the classroom with K-12 educators and with agriculture curriculum resources.

“Durand’s excitement, fresh ideas, passion for agriculture and experience working with all age levels are just what Farmamerica needs as we build our brand and create additional educational opportunities,” Farmamerica Executive Director Jessica Rollins stated in a press release. “We have similar visions in that we both want to be a resource to help people understand and value agriculture. Over the last few years, we’ve built a great working relationship with MATIC and this partnership will help us work even closer together to reach our ag literacy goals. Together we can build stronger relationships with regional educators and help them seamlessly incorporate agriculture into their classroom conversations and curricula.”

She has an interest in agricultural history and is excited to be a part of the history at Farmamerica. Her goal is to come up with programs for a variety of ages and for Farmamerica to be a place for families.

Durand plans to have at least two daytime camps that would be five days long.

“My platform would be … I want to do week-long opportunities for kids, some overnight opportunities and stuff for middle school kids, because they get left out a lot, leadership type events for them, some stuff for high school kids,” Durand said.

The first would be about general agriculture, where kids could come and learn about animals and plants and even do experiments. The kids would be able to come back in the middle and the end of summer to see how their experiments turned out.

Another day camp idea she has is a horse camp. She would bring her horses and allow kids to ride and learn about the animal. There would also be the usual activity days where kids can do a scavenger hunt and go out onto the Farmamerica property to walk the mile-long Time Lane trail.

She also has ideas about teaching skills for kids who don’t live on a farm. She talked about butchering, raising a pig or even micro-gardening. Durand has ideas to plan events for holidays and for a leadership camp over MEA weekend.

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