For Immediate Release Contact: Susan Moore Tricia Braid
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.--The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program will continue its strong legacy of providing free education resources to teachers thanks in part to financial support from the Illinois corn checkoff, administered by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board.
With a recent $50,000 contribution, the Illinois Corn Marketing Board helps Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) meet its budget needs for the current program year. Funds directly help support 63 county ag literacy coalitions as they continue to engage local educators and students with accurate agriculture education materials based on lessons in math, language arts, science and social studies. This network of county coordinators and volunteers deliver programs and materials to teachers and children in all 102 Illinois counties. This grassroots delivery method continues to be effective in both continuing classroom relationships and encouraging new educators to get involved in programming.
“We are thankful to have the support of many of our commodity groups and agribusiness partners as well as others who are making the important connection between farming and educating future consumers,” said Susan Moore, Director of the IAA Foundation. “Through this contribution, Illinois corn farmers are showing their belief in the efforts and value of Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program.”
Last year, support from Illinois corn checkoff helped bring the recently published Livestock Ag Mag to life and also helped IAITC staff transition current content into SMART Board technology formats. The Livestock Ag Mag features farmers from Illinois in beef, pork, dairy, equine and poultry. It details how they care for animals and speaks to veterinary, nutrition and housing experts as well. Initially introduced into IAITC in 2009, SMART Board technology is beginning to make its mark on IAITC materials and trainings. Incorporating Smart Board technology with lessons on corn, soybeans and animal care puts IAITC on the leading edge with educators.
“The Agriculture in the Classroom program is one that we’re proud to support,” said Bill Christ, ICMB Chairman. “Recent research shows that one positive interaction with a farmer can mean a lifetime of support for agriculture. We can’t bring everyone to our farms for those experiences, but we can deliver the farms, and more importantly, farmers to the classroom. That’s why as corn farmers we remain as dedicated as we’ve ever been to supporting this program.
Checkoff Dollars at Work Supporting Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom
Financial support from Illinois corn farmers means:
- Over 500,000 Illinois students are reached with lessons that teach about the importance and diversity of agriculture through the use IAITC materials
- Over 31,000 Illinois teachers are using free lesson materials, books and activities that link to state learning standards and provide accurate, scientifically sound information related to agriculture
- 2,000 + books on corn and livestock distributed to schools and libraries
- Reporting counties (56) show 100% coverage on topics of corn
- New lessons, materials and an Ag Mag focusing on animal care---a first for IAITC
- New corn Ag Mag with baseball theme and new interviews is on the shelf and being requested daily by county coordinators
- Teachers at Kindergarten Conference learned how to make corn plastic and incorporate lessons on feed, fuel and food differences.
- More SMART Board lessons available to teachers
- Over 1,600 future teachers received training on utilizing IAITC materials at 56 presentations