IAA Foundation secures Ag in the Classroom grant

Illinois teachers will experience agriculture firsthand and enhance student learning related to foodagriscience and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) agricultural careers, thanks to a $120,000 grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The grant will fund Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Agricultural Academy: Integrating Agri Science program. The funds will be used to conduct 100 multiple day trainings during the next four years. The IAA Foundation, which serves in a fundraising capacity for Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC), successfully secured the grant on the program’s behalf.

Topics introduced include technologies in consumer marketing, agriculture production, product processing food sciences, biotechnology, horticultural sciences, communications and marketing.

Twenty-five multiple day training sessions and field trips are conducted annually and attended by approximately 500 educators. They leave with increased knowledge and confidence to teach subjects in food and agricultural sciences as well as STEM integration. Through career exploration, educators gain a clearer understanding of job opportunities available in food and agriculture sciences.

The IAITC program brings a proven and effective delivery model that gets objective and science-based agriculture content into the hands of teachers in every county throughout the state of Illinois. IAITC will continue to use this effective model to introduce lessons and enhance learning related to food, agriscience and STEM agriculture careers, helping increase agricultural literacy and career readiness.

“Each year we seek to fully fund a program of work for IAITC,” said IAA Foundation Director Susan Moore. “This means securing close to $800,000 annually to ensure resources remain available at no cost to teachers and that county ag literacy programs can successfully reach more than 660,000 students each year. Training teachers to utilize these great educational resources in the classroom allows even more students the opportunity to grow and learn through agriculture.”

This story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.