Cindy Heidelberger Larson (SDARL XI) has been promoted to Vice President of Operations for Ground Works/South Dakota Ag in the Classroom.

Cindy Heidelberger Larson, above with a friend, enjoys telling the story of agriculture in the classroom

The Ground Works organization started  with $25.00, a card table, a Sunday school classroom, and a “what if” question about educating students through teaching gardens. The Sioux Falls based nonprofit has continued to grow from its early days of concentrating on teaching gardens to include educational platforms that test the bounds of innovation.

The organization has grown in 10 years; the card table has been replaced with a board room conference table, the Sunday school room swapped for a suite of offices close to downtown Sioux Falls, and the “what if” question has helped create more than 22 teaching gardens. The organization has developed a summer camp offering called YES! (Youth Eating Smart) and has become the organizing agency for SD Ag in the Classroom.

Ground Works, now Ground Works/SD Ag in the Classroom, has a statewide reach with an online educational platform and is impacting a combined 15,000 students in all three of their program areas.  At the helm, the 2 co-founders, Rev. Tim Olsen and Cindy Heidelberger Larson, have continued to look to the future with excitement.  It is with that excitement that the Ground Works/SD Ag in the Classroom Board of Directors has named Cindy Heidelberger Larson, Vice President of Operations.

Executive Director and Co-Founder, Tim Olsen, commented on the promotion.  “Cindy is the heart and soul of this organization.  This promotion recognizes that Cindy is a remarkable leader who influences students, teachers, community leaders, and decision-makers across the state.  She is a “rock star!”

To that end, Cindy will bring her communication and leadership skills to Ground Works/SD Ag in the Classroom, pushing the organization towards more partnerships and networks across the state.  She said, “I love the opportunity I have to work with incredible people across the state.  If I can bring awareness, education, and create a safe place where stories can be shared, then I have done my job well.”

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