Latest News

Latest News




Grants Available to Help Teach about Eggs and Chickens


WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – October 19, 2020– The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF) is making mini-grants available to support the integration of agriculture – specifically eggs and chickens -into classroom instruction or after school programs with an academic focus.

2020 Partnership Hopes to Advance Student Led Research in Pork


Des Moines, Iowa – October 16, 2020– The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation and the Iowa Pork Producers Association are announcing a second year of the program to encourage more students to get involved in swine and pork science research. Iowa students who complete and conduct a science experiment that is related to pigs, pork, pig production, swine care, or in a related subject area will be eligible to receive a $200 scholarship.

Nominations being accepted for 2020 Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture


Des Moines, Iowa – October 13, 2020–Many teachers throughout Iowa integrate agriculture into their classroom to enrich student learning experiences and apply science, social studies, language arts and many other subjects. Through an awards program of the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation those excellent teachers can be recognized for their efforts.

IALF Receives $4,000 Grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to Support Youth Literacy Initiatives


West Des Moines, Iowa – October 2, 2020 – Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently awarded the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation a $4,000 grant to support youth literacy initiatives. This local grant award is part of more than $4 million in grants awarded this fall to nearly 850 nonprofit organizations, libraries and schools across the 46 states that Dollar General serves.

Tri-Center FFA Students Host Annual Ag Safety Day


Neola, Iowa, – September 23, 2020 – Tractors, grain carts, mowers, and livestock trailers are not something you’d expect to see in a school parking lot. What would be the reason to have farm equipment at the school, except for the annual FFA Ag Safety Day of course! Each year, members of the Tri-Center FFA Chapter host an event that elementary students get to attend. This year kindergarten through fifth grade students learned about how to stay safe when visiting or working on a farm.

Iowa State Fair Went On…Virtually


West Des Moines, Iowa – September 11, 2020 – While the Iowa State Fair didn’t go on as planned, this year the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF) still provided educational, fun, agriculture-themed activities…virtually that is.

Registration Open for Gobble Up! Turkey Marketing Competition


West Des Moines, Iowa – September 8, 2020– The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation has opened registrations for a cross-curricular program for elementary, middle, and high school students. The experiential learning contest allows students to creatively develop a marketing strategy for a turkey product of their choice, while learning about the multitude of agricultural careers and skills it takes to develop and sell a product.

Virtual Story Time with Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom


Denison, Iowa, – August 26, 2020 – Students in Crawford County are now able to visit a different farm each month. Melanie Bruck, education program coordinator with Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom and Rebecca Berrones with the Norelius Community Library will be conducting monthly read along programs. The event is hosted by Norelius Community Library and co-hosted by Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom, a regional effort that is supported in part by the Crawford County Farm Bureau. Virtual read along programs featuring the My Family’s Farm book series will take place at 4 p.m. on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Families will be able to have a virtual story time from a farm.

Nine Agriculture in the Classroom Programs Receive USDA/NIFA-NAITCO "Fire-Up Grant" Funding for Special Projects


The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) has selected nine state Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) projects for funding this year as part of a competitive grants program called the “USDA/NIFA-NAITCO Fire-Up Grants” program to support the growth of agricultural literacy in pre-kindergarten—12th grade classrooms across the country.

No Fair? No Problem!


Wes Des Moines, Iowa – July 23, 2020– Agricultural education is always a focus at the Iowa State Fair. From baby animals to food production and more, you will find plenty of exciting activities and events to explore more of Iowa's diverse agriculture industry. But with the State Fair no longer happening, the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation is offering several opportunities to learn about agriculture and win some prizes.

Fair Week to Include Scavenger Hunts: Agriculture Trivia Stations


Harlan, Iowa, – July 13th, 2020 – County fairs will be doing things a little differently this year, and agriculture education is adapting as well. Carnival rides, games, and food stands will be postponed and in person activities will need to be limited, but fun and learning with Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom (LHAITC) can continue.

Teacher Professional Development Redesigned


Harlan, Iowa, – June 18, 2020 – The first half of 2020 has brought many changes, and Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom (LHAITC) teacher professional development has changed too. A two-day workshop was scheduled that included onsite tours and guest speakers but was changed to a virtual platform after safety concerns of COVID-19 limited group size.

Bayer Fund to Support Teacher Professional Development in Iowa


Ankeny, Iowa – June 11, 2020– Employees from the Bayer-Ankeny site recommended the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation to receive a $2,000 grant from the Bayer Fund. Funds from the grant will be used to support the teacher professional development efforts in Central Iowa.

Virtual STEM Festival: Presenting the Soybean Life Cycle Online


Harlan, Iowa, – June 2, 2020 – STEM festivals were one of the many events effected by COVID-19 closings this school year. Agriculture in the Classroom coordinators, like Melanie Bruck, would have been traveling to multiple schools to present activities on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). These community events would have reached many families, educating young and old alike about the importance of agriculture.

Agriculture Virtual STEM Fest Offered to Iowa Students


WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – May 21, 2020 – Iowa students are invited to a free, live, virtual STEM festival from their home to finish out the school year. Hosted by the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation, the virtual STEM festival will focus on agriculture and the food system.

Video Conferencing Lessons From the Farm to Students


Persia, Iowa, – May 8th, 2020 – Melanie Bruck looks out her home office window and sees a tractor pass by pulling a feed wagon. The cows are bellowing loudly. It is feeding time. It is also almost time to begin class. She is about to conduct a virtual lesson from her farm with Underwood Elementary. She has brought lessons on agriculture to almost 10,000 students, but never from her computer before.

Iowa Classroom Winners Selected in High Steaks! Beef Marketing Competition


West Des Moines, Iowa – April 23, 2020 – How would you like to try a tasty dish of beef tongue tacos or cheesy beefsteak bake? Iowa students from across the state recently participated in the High Steaks! Beef Marketing Competition in a bid to win judges over with their knowledge of beef products and marketing savvy.

Council Awards 2020 Excellence in Agriculture Education


Des Moines, Iowa – April 17, 2020– The Iowa Council on Agricultural Education awarded Algona Community School in Algona, Iowa with the 2020 Excellence in Agriculture Education award. The award will be presented at the Iowa Association of Agriculture Educators Conference held in Ames, Iowa June 22-24, 2020.

Teacher Professional Development to Prepare for Student Success


WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – April 14, 2020– Two-day professional development workshops for teachers will be offered throughout the summer and around the state by the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation and partner organizations.

Virtual Chick Hatching Experience


Harlan, Iowa, – March 25, 2020 –Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom had recently started two incubation lessons with Kuemper Catholic School System and Tri-Center Community School District. When schools closed to help slow or prevent the spread of COVID-19, the lessons moved online. The incubators are automatic, however needed to be monitored and water needed added every few days. Instead of discontinuing the programs, program coordinator, Melanie Bruck, moved the incubators to her home and office and the lessons to Facebook Live.