WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – November 18, 2020– The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF) is making mini-grants available to support the integration of agriculture into classroom instruction or after school programs with an academic focus.

“I am happy to report that even though we had a strange spring, we were able to accomplish that task,” said 2020 grant recipient Brad Taylor.  “The various activities and experiments were designed to lead students into a discovery mode of inquiry-based learning that also infused in agricultural terminology to make each activity more relevant. The class was developed around experiments and presentations that all students were engaged with.”

The Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher Supplement Grants, made possible through support from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, are designed to help Iowa teachers initiate new projects or expand existing projects that promote agriculture literacy in students.  Teachers can apply for $250 grants that can be used to fund innovative lessons, activities, classroom resources, guest speakers, outreach programs, field trips, and other projects. Up to 175 grants will be awarded to teachers throughout Iowa.

One of last year’s grant recipients, Amanda Seuntjens said, “I think encouraging the students to try new foods, especially fruits and vegetables, is very important. Several of the students were quite hesitant at first, but I feel they did very well. Several students talked about having gardens this year and what they grew in their gardens. We looked at a few books showing different fruits and vegetables, some of which we had never heard of.”

Preschool through 12th grade teachers, librarians, and afterschool program coordinators at Iowa schools are eligible to apply.  Grants must relate to social studies, science, math, language arts, or 21st century skills and integrate agriculture into the learning.   

“We see this as a valuable resource for teachers because it allows them to connect what they are doing in the classrooms to Iowa’s number one industry,” said IFBF community resources manager, Ronnette Vondrak. “Agriculture in the Classroom and agriculture literacy has been an area of emphasis for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation for many years.”

The deadline for application is January 10, 2021 and the proposed project must take place between January 15 and June 5, 2021. To apply online or for more information visit www.iowaagliteracy.org.