LeRoy Teacher wins State Award

Katie Buckley, LeRoy Junior High School Science, Technology,Engineering and Math Educator,was named the 2018 Illinois Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Runner-Up.

She was recognized for her achievements at the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Chicago Dec. 1.

For the past two years, students in Buckley’s STEM Exploratory Class have completed food and farming based learning projects called Purple Plow Challenges.

Her class won the nationwide challenge in 2017 and again in 2018. Buckley is also an alum of the American Farm Bureau STEM on the Farm Program, which gave her the opportunity to travel to Oregon for hands-on and on-farm learning about beef cattle production.

Buckley is a past winner of the McLean County Maitland Agricultural Awareness and McLean County Farm Bureau Ag Science grants.

You can follow Buckley and her students on Twitter @LeRoySTEM to see what they’re learning.

As the Runner Up, Buckley will be Illinois Farm Bureau’s nominee for the American Farm Bureau White-Reinhardt Scholarship.

Ten Local Teachers Get AITC Grants

Ten McLean County teachers will receive grant funding from Illinois Ag in the Classroom to add books and projects related to food and farming to their curriculum.

Recipients include:

  • Jennifer Burns, Carlock, Project Grant: “Ag Bags of Books”
  • Jason Wynn, Colene Hoose, Biographies Book Grant
  • Kelly Reardon, Fox Creek, Project Grant: “From Farm to Table”
  • Lori Stuart, LeRoy Elementary, Biographies Book Grant
  • Robert Harrison, Oakdale, Graphic Novels Book Grant
  • Shawn Schwerman, Parkside Jr. High, Graphic Novels Book Grant
  • Jennifer Corbly, Pepper Ridge, Project Grant: “Decomposing & Composting”
  • Suzanne Schertz, Prairieland, Graphic Novels Book Grant
  • Katie Sandage, Stevenson, Graphic Novels Book Grant
  • Tina Thomas, Stevenson, Biographies Book Grant

The grants offer teachers the opportunity to expand their libraries with accurate ag books or purchase supplies for lesson plans related to food and farming.

The Biographies Book Grant allowed teachers to select from titles about Henry Ford, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Deere or George Washington Carver.

The ag-related graphic novels available through the grant covered the Dust Bowl, pasteurization, Levi Strauss and George Washington Carver.

The Illinois Ag in the Classroom teacher grants are offered annually thanks to funding from the IAA Foundation, the charitable arm of Illinois Farm Bureau.

Farm Fresh Podcast: Ag in the Classroom

Connecting kids to the farm and helping them understand where food comes from is a major part of the Ag in the Classroom program. Find out about all the activities plus grant opportunities for teachers in this Farm Fresh Podcast featuring Bridget Caldwell, McLean County Ag in the Classroom Coordinator.

For 6-12 grade teachers interested in applying for an Ag Science Grant from McLean County Farm Bureau Foundation, click here.

Listen every week for the Farm to Table segment on WJBC Radio Wednesdays at 12:45 p.m.

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