WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – January 29, 2018– The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF) has awarded 185 grants to schools throughout Iowa to support the integration of agriculture into classroom instruction or after school programs with an academic focus.

The Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher Supplement Grants are designed to help teachers initiate new projects or expand existing projects that promote agriculture literacy in students.  Grants can be used to fund innovative lessons, activities, classroom resources, guest speakers, outreach programs, fieldtrips, and other projects.

One grant recipient, Jenn Schnell, commented, “I am so excited for my students!  As a farmer's daughter, a farm wife, and one who is raising three boys on a farm -- agriculture is very important to me!  And I think it should be important to every child!”

Some of the innovative applicants will be conducting projects this spring including aquaponics, water quality, farm-to-fork projects, dairy field trips, and agricultural history tours.  Successful applicants will use these agricultural experiences to teach language arts, social studies and a variety of other concepts already taught in their classrooms.

“This year’s grant projects will focus on integrating agriculture into social studies and language arts curriculums,” said IALF education program manager Cindy Hall.  “Projects will allow teachers to align to the newly adopted social studies standards here in Iowa.”

The grants are a special project of IALF and made possible through support from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. 

“We are very pleased to be able to provide this support to classrooms,” said Iowa Farm Bureau Federation director of community resources Barb Lykins.  “Agricultural literacy is an important aspect of the IFBF goal to build understanding of the value of Iowa agriculture.”

Newton school principal Trisca Mick said, “We are very appreciative to receive this grant and know the children will be absolutely thrilled at the opportunity it will provide them!”

The projects will be completed before the end of the school year with final reports to be submitted by June 5, 2018. For more information visit www.iowaagliteracy.org.  Here is the complete list of award recipients. 

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About the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation
IALF serves as a central resource for educators and volunteers who want to teach Iowa’s students about agriculture. The mission is to educate Iowans, with a focus on youth, regarding the breadth and global significance of agriculture. Iowa is a leading producer of agricultural products that are essential to feed a growing world population, estimated to reach more than 9 billion by 2050. IALF believes it is important for all Iowans to understand the essential role agriculture has in their lives. IALF will support existing agriculture education efforts such as FFA, 4-H and Ag in the Classroom. IALF was created through a joint effort of agricultural stakeholders, including the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Silos and Smokestacks Foundation, DuPont Pioneer, GROWMARK, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. For more information visit IALF online at IowaAgLiteracy.org, on Facebook, and Twitter.

Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation

Will Fett, Executive Director
Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation