Local Agricultural Educator Ben Kohnle Selected to Participate in National Program

PIGEON FORGE, TN (August 11, 2021) — Nine agricultural educators have been selected to participate in the 2021-2022 CROPS Program through a nationwide search. The CROPS (Cost-effective Roll Over Protection System) Program is a federally funded research initiative through NIOSH in partnership with the University of Kentucky to combat tractor rollover fatalities in the Appalachian Area and Mississippi Delta. The experiential learning curriculum focuses on agricultural mechanics and safety. Each educator participated in an annual Professional Development Event on July 25th-27th, 2021, in Pigeon Forge, TN. The CROPS team trained teachers on the curriculum and the fabrication process for constructing a CROPS.

The CROPS program started in 2013 in Kentucky agricultural science education programs. As of today, students in CROPS programs have built over 150 rollover bars for tractors. The CROPS project has tripled in size to include ten states, including Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

2021-2022 Educator Cohort:
• Kaitlynn Mynatt (Hatley High School, Amory, MS)
• Marshall Streit (Cass Career Center, Harrisonville, MO)
• Pete Bennett (Jenkins County High, Millen, GA)
• Travis Allred (Danville High School, Danville, AL)
Ben Kohnle (South Caldwell High School, Hudson, NC)
• Justin Reynolds (Buford High School, Lancaster, SC)
• Ben Prewitt (Clinton County High School, Albany, KY)
• Susan Hilleary (Fauquier High School, Warrenton, VA)
• Terry Hauser (Preston High School, Kingwood, WV)