Sunshine Shanks receives Homegrown Hero Award

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 4/8/21

BELLE — Sunshine Shanks, a Title One teacher for Belle Elementary School, was nominated and won the St. Louis District Dairy Council Award for Homegrown Hero.

Chandler Kleffner’s Belle …

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Sunshine Shanks receives Homegrown Hero Award

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BELLE — Sunshine Shanks, a Title One teacher for Belle Elementary School, was nominated and won the St. Louis District Dairy Council Award for Homegrown Hero.

Chandler Kleffner’s Belle Elementary School (BES) first-grade class was given the choice of what community member they would like to nominate for the ward and chose Shanks hands down.

“It’s about someone who makes a positive impact on the community,” Kleffner said. “We sent in a video and talked about Shanks, how she farms and impacts our community. We let three students who had permission from their parents to speak in the video to say why Shanks was good to receive the award.”

The students explained that Shanks always had books in her classroom about agriculture; how she teaches cow and calf interactions and how to make the hobby profitable; and how to get involved in the community.

She has promoted an adopt-a-cow program. Students were very happy to nominate Ms. Shanks for the St. Louis Dairy Council Award.

“She is very deserving of the award,” Kleffner said. “She does not want to stand out.”

Kleffner added that the St. Louis Dairy Council has sent out a lot of information that she has used in her classroom to teach students about agriculture.

RDN, LD Nutrition Educator Amanda Marsh presented Shanks with the award on the St. Louis District Dairy Council’s behalf.

“We are lucky to have people like Sunshine in our communities who are willing to tie agriculture into community willing to tie agriculture in with the community,” Marsh said.

Shanks is the only person in Missouri to win the award out of 131 counties that submitted nominations.

“She stood out above and beyond everyone else,” Marsha said.

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