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LaRue County teacher wins ExCEL Award for work connecting students to agriculture

Chris Thomas is being recognized for his work in teaching young and minority students about diversity and getting involved in the agriculture industry.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — If you ask his peers, there are many things that set Chris Thomas and his teaching method apart — a clue for a big one sits right above his desk.

"When you're talking about diversity and how do you explain diversity, well I did it with two cows," Thomas said. 

Thomas grew up in a farming family. He said he felt poor as a kid, but reflecting back now, he realizes just how rich his experiences were, appreciating the upbringing that made him.

He now aims to pass these gifts along to his students with a particular eye at increasing young and minority participation in the agriculture industry.

"My parents gave me skills and opportunities that money can't really buy," Thomas said. "I just try to bring that to the classroom and let them know that like you don't have to have the best materials, you don't have to have the best design, what you need to have is something that will work for you."

With the award, Thomas receives a $1000 check from LG&E KU. He said he will likely put that money back into his projects connecting his students with agriculture and the food they eat.

"There's nothing better than being close to your food," Thomas said. "Every person whether they like it or not is going to be involved in agriculture because two or three times per day they're probably going to eat."

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