Moving Forward, Together

Kirk Builta, Executive Director

Moving Forward, Together. A message from CCFB Foundation Executive Director, Kirk Builta.

Integrity. Stewardship. Legacy. While I was not in the room when our organization was founded on March 15, 1985; I’m confident that our founding fathers had these values in mind. 34 years later the CCFB Foundation Board of Directors and staff continue to hold these ideals close to our hearts.

Over the past three decades the CCFB Foundation has seen great progress thanks to the steadfast support of our donor’s time, talent and treasure. We’re proud of the traditions we’ve built together and look forward to those that lie ahead.

The past year has been one of growth and change. As we end the school year, I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on a year of growth and speak with you about our plans to move forward, together.


A 2018 job vacancy allowed us to take a look at our educational programming and how we can best educate Champaign County students of the importance of agriculture in their daily lives. This opportunity caught the attention of Sarah Kaper, a longtime educator in the Mahomet-Seymour school district. Throughout this school year Mrs. Kaper has brought agriculture to life in countless classrooms, and to over 1,000 students each month throughout our county.

Another addition to our staff this year is program coordinator Shanna Hortin. In this role Shanna brings to life our annual funding campaigns and special events like golf outings and our Harvest Gala. Shanna also leads our marketing and communication efforts so that we can better position the foundation throughout our communities.  Shanna’s efforts have helped us re-energize and grow our fundraising events to meet our needs throughout the county.

We’ve recently partnered with the Illinois Farm Bureau marketing department to further develop professional marketing materials for the Foundation and our programming. While you’ll notice that our logo remains the same, you’ll see new themes and sharper graphics which allow us to build our brand and sharpen our appearance.

Further analyzing our image, a winter retreat of our board of directors allowed us to firmly, and clearly, state the Foundation’s mission and vision; while confirming the values that guide our organization.

Champaign County Ag in the Classroom Director Sarah Kaper prepares to teach elementary school students about corn, and corn products.

As the CCFB Foundation has evolved, we always strive to communicate more clearly with our donors as well as with our scholarship recipients, elementary school students, and the community. In an effort to provide clarity to the community about our role in classrooms, our educational programming will now be called Champaign County Ag in the Classroom. The Champaign County Ag in the Classroom program will continue the legacy created by past volunteers and staff members, while more clearly communicating our efforts to teachers, students, and in the community.

While we continue to evolve in the future, we’re thankful for your partnership. We strive to provide programming that our donors and stakeholders are proud to support. I look forward to sharing more about our organization as well as its mission and vision in the July issue of the CCFB Newsletter. From there we hope to count on your continued support as we move forward, together.