Supporting Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom

Susan Moore

Message from:
IAA Foundation Director

The IAA Foundation is privileged to represent and raise funds on behalf of Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom.  We take great care and pride in sharing the stories of success and program impact, but also the personal accounts of how a farm field trip, a classroom visit, or a farmer pen pal opened up a new world of agriculture to a student.  These stories continue on because of a great network of support for Ag Literacy. 

The Mission of Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) is to teach Illinois children agriculture’s importance and the vital role it plays in their lives and society.  IAITC supports local educational and outreach efforts by providing standards based scientifically sound agriculture information that can be easily integrated by teachers into the existing classroom curriculum. 

The IAITC program provides students an opportunity to learn about nutrition, science and agriculture through hands-on classroom experiences under the direction of their teachers or county Agricultural Literacy Coordinators, resulting in students who will grow up with a better understanding and appreciation for our state’s number one industry. 

Through the generous support of individuals and businesses who want to provide a future for agriculture, the IAA Foundation is able to supply the financial needs to keep IAITC thriving.  Last year our donors helped us create and print Ag Mags and other new materials, provide mini-grants for teachers to buy supplies and books, and give teachers week-long experiences seeing agriculture first hand, and maintain grants to support county efforts just to name a few. 

Because of this successful network of financial and volunteer support, IAITC continues to have a strong impact each year: 

  • More than 694,000 students in grades pre K-12 hear an IAITC lesson
  • More than 41,000 teachers use IAITC materials throughout the school year
  • More than 614 teachers participate in Summer Agricultural Institutes
  • More than  5,000 volunteers actively engage in IAITC efforts

For the 2019-2020 school year our goal is to raise $750,000 to meet the state-wide needs and maintain grants to support county efforts.  This can only be accomplished when those impacted by agriculture step up to the plate…and if you eat then you are a part of that daily impact!   Thank you for playing an important role in our efforts…with your help we can continue to grow.


Susan Moore
Director, IAA Foundation

Through generous support received by the IAA Foundation the following are made possible:

  • County Ag Literacy Grants - County grants are a part of the IAITC program. Funds from a variety of partnering organizations will help support 79 County Ag Literacy Coalitions. County Ag Literacy programs in turn raise matching funds at the local level to implement programs.
  • Ag Mags – A staple of the IAITC program, these 4-color tabloid type resources, featuring specific Illinois Agricultural commodities and issues, are linked with the Illinois Learning Standards, and feature facts, career interviews and scientific experiments.  Each Ag Mag is made SMART Board compatible, is available online for download, or classroom packs can be requested free of charge. 
  • Agriculture School Calendar - 5,000 classroom receive this calendar each year.  It features daily facts about Illinois Agriculture and follows timely agriculture themes related to that month.  Additional reading & educational resources are listed for teachers. 
  • Pre-Service Teacher Resource Guides & Grants – Resource guides serve as an aide in reaching pre-service teachers. Up to 5 $1,000 grants are awarded to university pre-service teacher programs to purchase agriculture related books and supplies.
  • Summer Ag Institutes - At these multi-day teacher training institutes,  educators receive intensive hands on training and field trip experiences in agriculture which  help them become more comfortable incorporating agriculture into their daily lessons through use of IAITC materials. 
  • Teacher Grants - Up to 72 $250 grants will be awarded to teachers utilizing unique agriculture information in their classroom. Book grants also offer new ag-related literature for all students.   Grants are showcased on  and in local media. 
  • Adopt A Classroom- This popular program matches city of Chicago teachers and their students with farm writers around the state.  Funds are utilized to provide teacher training about agriculture for City of Chicago teachers.  This training is further re-enforced with the regular communication from their pen-pal farm writers.