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 IATC 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. The 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," says 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," notes 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."