SHARE:    

Q & A with Bonnie Dredla

0312
 2019


Bonnie Dredla, office manager at the Luling Foundation, with some of the demonstration farm’s registered black Angus herd (Sarah Beal photo).

BY CLAYTON STROMBERGER

The Luling Foundation is her home and holds her heart. Office manager Bonnie Dredla lives on the property with her family and has worked there 15 years. She is constantly reinvigorated by the beauty of the place and its important mission.

What’s one thing that folks might not know about the Luling Foundation?
People are so surprised about how many global visitors have been here. I have a map on the wall with colored pins showing all the places people have come from around the world. We’ve had people from Indonesia, Pakistan, Italy, Russia, Latvia, Mexico, Canada and England. We’ve had several exchange students from Poland. The most recent group was from Brazil. A mayor from China tried his first beef jerky here in the office.
 
What are your big annual events, and how many people visit each year?
We have about 1,500 visitors each year. Our Field Day has been going from the beginning, and it’s the third Thursday of May every year. We have vendor booths, specialists, demonstrations and tours. We serve a big barbecue dinner and peach cobbler. We’ve had a Progressive Ag Safety Day for fifth-graders the last seven years, and that will continue this spring as Ag Literacy Day. Bluebonnet Electric has been a sponsor and advocate of the event since it started in 2011.

Education has been an integral part of the foundation from its beginning. What knowledge do you hope young visitors will leave with after seeing the farm?
A lot of it is just changing their perspective of what they think agriculture is, because often they think you have to have a chicken in the back yard, or it has to do with a tractor. They think you have to be in 4H or FFA (Future Farmers of America.) We’re all involved in agriculture. If you work at H-E-B, you’re in agriculture. When you put your clothes on, you’re in agriculture.

If Edgar B. Davis were able to drop by and see what the foundation is doing today, what would he think?
I think he’d be proud that it’s still going on, that his vision is still being fulfilled. One of the beautiful things I get to see in this job is all of the kids who have come through here. More people were introduced to the farm over the years by making ice cream in a bag here in third grade than I can count. I think that seeing the students do things that are outside, that are hands-on, that are tangible, and give them knowledge they can take away from here, that’s what I think he’d be most proud of.

What can you tell us about your electric use?
We reinsulated the demonstration barn several years ago. The 92-year-old office building has energy efficient windows on the outside. We also have four solar panels to operate a water well.

What has the longtime connection with Bluebonnet meant to the foundation?
We’ve gotten high-quality service from Bluebonnet, and thanks to its community grants, we've been able to make some wonderful improvements to our facilities. We received one grant for $30,000 in 2016 for a new workshop, and we’ve gotten three Community Development Partnership Program grants from the LCRA and Bluebonnet over the years. It’s a relationship where both parties are able to fulfill a mission in providing a service to the community.  

THE LULING FOUNDATION
lulingfoundation.org
830-875-2438
523 S. Mulberry Ave.
Luling, TX 78648
Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. (Closed from noon to 1 p.m.)

 

« Return to News