Tricia Braid

Dec 18, 2017  |  Today's News |  Public Outreach

IL Corn believes that agricultural education is an important component of every student’s experience. That’s why we invest your corn checkoff dollars with teachers around Illinois who are bringing innovating, engaging agricultural units into their classrooms. Corn-based activities remain a favorite of Illinois teachers. We also provide specific support to soil, water, and career-based instruction, along with support for beef and pork units. We give a “hat tip” to teachers honored this year by the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program.


Stacy McQueen of Cass County received the 2018 Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) Teacher of the Year award.


McQueen is a K-5 Special Education teacher at Virginia Community Unit School District 64 in Virginia. She cultivates in her students a positive curiosity about the world’s foods and fibers. She continually goes above and beyond expectations to provide thoughtful lessons in agriculture literacy, using creative resources from texts and books to hands-on resources. McQueen successfully engages her students in agriculture in the studies of math, science, social studies and language arts.

McQueen organizes the school’s Family Ag Night for students and their families to learn about agriculture together. McQueen shares with students her interest in pollinators. Through her monarch project, McQueen teaches students and has trained other teachers in agriculture and environmental stewardship.


McQueen received a plaque and trip to the 2018 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Portland, Maine. She is Illinois’ nominee for the National Excellence in Teaching Agriculture Award.


Linda Massie, a first-grade teacher at Mt. Erie Elementary School in Mt. Erie in Wayne County is the IAITC Teacher of the Year runner-up. 

Massie incorporates agriculture into her classroom through creative curricular themes including apples, nutrition, and seed biology. A favorite activity is exploring pizza from the crust up. Students use reading and hands-on activities to understand food systems. Massie shares and promotes agriculture literacy to her peers and colleagues by presenting at workshops and conferences. She has been an avid participant in eight intensive Summer Agricultural Institutes to gain more knowledge for her classroom.