BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) program will continue its strong legacy of providing free education resources to teachers thanks in part to a $90,000 donation from the Illinois Corn Checkoff, administered by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB).
With its recent contribution, the ICMB helps IAITC fund its upcoming program year, and continues its long-standing position as the top commodity contributor to the ag literacy program.
"The Illinois Corn Marketing Board is proud to continue our support of agricultural education efforts by investing checkoff dollars with the IAA Foundation and IAITC,” said Tom Mueller, chairman, ICMB. “As there are fewer and fewer of us actively engaged in farming, it becomes even more important to provide quality, science-based education resources to youth so that they might grow up with a more robust understanding of how their food gets to their table. And maybe they’ll share what they learn with their parents, too.”
The donation directly helps 70 Illinois county ag literacy coalitions engage local educators and students with accurate education about agriculture through lessons and materials based in math, language arts, science and social studies. Last year, IAITC reached more than 550,000 students and more than 37,000 teachers.
During the last several years, support from the Illinois Corn Checkoff has helped make free resources available to classrooms, including Ag Mags on diverse topics from water and soil, to livestock care and corn. This year, efforts will continue to focus on farmers’ role as stewards of the land, incorporating practices from the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.
“The IAITC program will utilize the new Soil and Water Ag Mags to showcase lessons related to watersheds, cover crops and bioreactors,” said Kevin Daugherty, education director, IAITC. “Often, our teachers and general public hear terms and are confused, and the IAITC program has worked to make the terms and strategies easier to understand.”
This year’s gift marks 25 years of IAITC support from Illinois Corn Farmers.
“We are thankful to have the support of commodity groups and the farmers they represent,” said Susan Moore, director, IAA Foundation. “Through this contribution, Illinois corn farmers can see their dollars directly at work in the classroom, where IAITC continues its successful track record of making important connections to agriculture for students.”