The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation has just awarded 111 grants to schools throughout Iowa to support the integration of agriculture into classroom instruction or after-school programs. Chrissy Rhodes is an education program coordinator with the Iowa Ag Literacy Foundation

We open [applications] up in December, for pre-K through 12th-grade teachers or librarians, and they can apply for funds up to $250 to get materials or to find educational programs that connect to both their standards and agriculture.

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The Ag in the Classroom Teachers Supplement Grants is designed to help teachers initiate or expand projects that promote agricultural literacy in students. These funds can be used for innovative lessons, activities, classroom resources, guest speakers, outreach programs, educational trips, and other projects.

So very popular things are a lot of elementary schools do embryology and it's by hatching chicken eggs. So teachers might apply for this grant to get a new incubator or candling materials, things like that.

Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash
Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash
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Grants like this, says Rhodes, are important to help teachers get the materials they need to make a difference in students’ lives.

Connecting that to agriculture as much as possible, is a good thing because it helps the students understand what's going on in the state around them, how the food is getting to their table, and also the kinds of careers that are available.

In Iowa, one in five people gets a job connected to agriculture. So, if students want to stick around Iowa, Rhodes says, it will help to know a little about the field.

Projects that teachers do with the grants are to be completed by the end of the current school year.

To find out who received the grants, check out the Iowa Agriculture Literacy website.

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