“Creating a classroom.” That’s something that teachers do frequently. Today we’ll learn about a Kansan who is creating a classroom for agriculture, but not inside a traditional school. This Kansan is leading a national center which provides a living experience to help people of all ages learn about agriculture.
Dawn Gabel is the new director of the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs, Kansas. The ag center, as it is sometimes called, has deep history in Kansas. Congress approved a federal charter for the center. It was signed by President Eisenhower in 1960.
However, no funds are appropriated to support the center, so it relies on private sector funding. Today the facility has grown to include 10 buildings and tens of thousands of visitors – but a lack of funding caught up with the center in 2014.
When the previous director left, the board decided to close for the 2014 summer months. Now a new director has been hired and the center is again open and active.
Dawn Gabel is the new center director. She has deep roots in rural Kansas. Her family homesteaded in Jewell County. Dawn grew up at the rural community of Courtland, population 322 people. Now that’s rural.