West Des Moines, Iowa – October 23, 2023 – Across Iowa, dedicated educators are seamlessly incorporating agriculture into their classrooms to enhance the learning journeys of their students. The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation has an annual award – Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture – to honor and acknowledge these exceptional teachers.

            The Iowa Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award is open to non-vocational pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers. The award aims to recognize an Iowa teacher for their integrated efforts to teach students about the importance of food and agriculture and increase students’ agriculture literacy. An agriculturally literate person understands and can communicate the source and value of food and agriculture as it affects quality of life.

            Applications will be accepted through November 18 and the winner will be selected and recognized in December 2023. The selected Iowa teacher will receive $500 to support their classroom instruction. They will also receive up to $1,000 to cover expenses to attend the 2024 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah. June 24 – 27, 2024.

            Outstanding teachers will showcase innovative approaches to integrating food and agriculture into their classroom. Agriculture can be the vehicle to teach a multitude of other content areas and apply these concepts in a relevant way for Iowa students. Creative teachers will help students make connections between food production, health, energy systems, economics, environment, and their interconnectedness in agriculture. Pioneering teachers will help students connect to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers.

            Last year’s winner, Cindy Snell, is a Waukee Schools APEX teacher. She introduces agricultural learning across all levels of Waukee School classes, engaging students with hands-on experiences such as plant walls, egg hatching programs, hydroponics and dissections, vermicomposting, life gardens, ioponics, aquaponics, workshops, field trips, community service, and school gardens. 

            Teachers can apply with or without a nomination. IALF encourages agriculture advocates, teachers and all members of the community to recognize teachers who embody the criteria for this award by submitting a nomination. Nominated educators will be notified that a community member supports their efforts and would like them to apply. All applicants, including nominated teachers, must apply officially by November 18.

For more information or to apply online visit: https://www.iowaagliteracy.org/tools-resources/general/grants.

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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 nine 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. Supporters include the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area, Corteva Agriscience, GROWMARK, the Iowa Beef Industry Council, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Turkey Federation. For more information visit IALF online at www.IowaAgLiteracy.org, on Facebook, and Twitter.