2021-22 IL AITC Teacher Grant Winners

From books about pollinators and to biographies about important agriculture innovators, twelve McLean County teachers received book grants to add ag-related books & activities to their classrooms.

2021-22 Winners include:

  • Robert Harrison, Oakdale Elementary
  • Stacia Rockhold, Prairieland Elementary
  • Gillian Schenk, Normal West HS
  • Stacie Lange, Towanda Elementary
  • Kristen Hammer, Fox Creek Elementary
  • Suzie Schertz, Prairieland Elementary
  • Morgan Glasson, Parkside Junior High
  • Susan Steinbach, Sugar Creek Elementary
  • Kathy Rasch, Prairieland Elementary
  • Kacy Killian, Eugene Field
  • Amanda Stanko, Corpus Christi
  • Tina Thomas, Stevenson Elementary

In addition, Alison Flessnor from Tri-Valley Elementary a Project Grant for her proposed “Down on the Farm” lessons.

“Each year our teacher grant program is very competitive, and our judging panel is amazed at the unique programs teachers use to infuse agriculture into their curriculum,” says Kevin Daugherty, Director, Illinois Center for Agricultural Engagement and IAITC.

The grants are supported with funding from the IAA Foundation.

“We take pride in providing resources so teachers can continue to engage and inspire students. These grants are a meaningful way for the IAA Foundation to partner with likeminded organizations to fulfill our mission to support the future of agriculture through education,” says Susan Moore, Director of the IAA Foundation.

Partner organizations of IAITC include Illinois Farm Bureau, Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE), University of Illinois Extension, Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Growers, Illinois Pork Producers, Illinois Soybean Association, Midwest Dairy Association, Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Contributions from agribusinesses and individuals also help fund foundation activities. To learn more or make a donation, visit www.iaafoundation.org. For information on IAITC, visit www.agintheclassroom.org.

Soil Your Undies Challenge

We soiled our undies for science!

The Soil Your Undies Challenge is a simple way to test soil biology/microbial activity.

Just bury a pair of 100% cotton underwear for 60 days and then dig it up to see how much has decomposed. If just the elastic remains you have healthy soil!

You can also bury 2 pairs in different spots and compare the results.

Find lesson and activity ideas to do your own Soil Your Undies Challenge here or more learning activities about soil here.

How does it work?

McLean County Ag in the Classroom sponsored a friendly competition among local FFA Chapters for the #SoilYourUndiesMcLeanCounty Challenge. Ag students buried 2 pairs of undies in 2 locations on their school grounds & then dug them up 60 days later.

Thanks to Olympia, Heyworth, Tri-Valley & Lexington FFA Chapters for participating! Check out the results of our experiments in the photos below.

Thanksgiving – A Cornucopia of Ideas!

Gobble up these lesson ideas for your classroom from turkey to cranberries and more!

McLean County (IL) teachers can request ag mags and Thanksgiving activity kits for their classroom: Click here

Online Reading Materials


Books to Read – set up a FREE account on www.openlibrary.org to read these online books for FREE!


Ag is Essential!

Agriculture is all around us – providing food to eat, clothes to wear and so much more! McLean County (IL) teachers can request Ag is Essential activity kits for their classroom: Click here

Reading Materials

Learning Ag-tivities:

Books to Read – set up a FREE account on www.openlibrary.org to read these online books for FREE for up to 14 days! Or contact us to check out hard copies of these or similar books.

Farming Videos

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