Grants support students learning agriculture

The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF) has awarded 165 grants to schools throughout Iowa to support the integration of agriculture into classroom instruction or after school programs with an academic focus.

The Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher Supplement Grants are designed to help teachers initiate new projects or expand existing projects that promote agriculture literacy in students. Grants can be used to fund innovative lessons, activities, classroom resources, guest speakers, outreach programs, field trips and other projects.

One grant recipient, Karen Bouska, commented, “Being raised in Iowa on a century farm in Franklin County, I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to teach about agriculture in the classroom.”

Some of the innovative applicants will be conducting projects this spring including aquaponics, water quality, farm-to-fork projects, dairy field trips and agricultural history tours. Successful applicants will use these agricultural experiences to teach language arts, social studies and a variety of other concepts already taught in their classrooms.

“This year’s wide range of grant projects really show how agriculture can be used to teach a number of different subjects,” said IALF education program manager, Cindy Hall. “Projects will allow teachers to make learning real and relevant for their students and still align to state educational standards.”

The grants are a special project of IALF and made possible through support from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

“We are pleased to provide this support for teachers in their classrooms,” said Ronnette Vondrak, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) community resources manager.

“Agricultural literacy is an important aspect of the IFBF goal to build understanding of the value of Iowa agriculture.”

Clarke Elementary School principal, Jill Kiger, said, “Thank you for this award. Tara is so excited, and our building is thrilled to support her efforts. Thank you again for choosing this project!”

The projects will be completed before the end of the school year with final reports submitted by June 5, 2019. For more information, visit

Twenty-seven classroom in northeast Iowa received awards:
Jacquelyn Panos, Carrie Lee Elementary
Katie Casterton, Carrie Lee Elementary
Karen Klotzbach, Carrie Lee Elementary
Jennifer DeLaRosa, Carrie Lee Elementary School
Stacy Knight, Carrie Lee Elementary School
Sara Lawrence, Clayton Ridge Elementary
Jill Stannard, Clayton Ridge Elementary School
Brian Lawrence, Clayton Ridge Middle School
Stephanie Spain, Cora B. Darling Elementary
Tamra Foster, Crestwood Elementary School
Mary Vachta, Crestwood Elementary School
Melissa Johnston, Decorah West Side Early Childhood Center
Linda Tegeler, Ed-Co
Cheryl Huebner, John Cline Elementary
Shanna Putnam Dibble, John Cline Elementary School
Dawn Colsch, MFL MarMac Middle School
Angela Pape, MFLMarMac
Jennifer Thompson, Nashua-Plainfield Elementary
Theresa Knutson, New Hampton Elementary
April Schmitt, New Hampton High School
Kari Albert, Notre Dame
Rachel Kuboushek, Notre Dame Catholic School
Jenn Herold, St.Joseph Community School
Evie Milbrandt, Turkey Valley
April Schmitt, Turkey Valley Community Schools
Carla Even, West Central Elementary
Karen Bouska, Wings Park Elementary

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