The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF) is making grants available to support local efforts to develop an understanding of agriculture in students as well as adults.
The Agriculture in the Classroom Local Support Grants are designed to help communities initiate new projects or expand existing projects that promote agriculture literacy through education and outreach. Grants can be used to fund innovative lessons, activities, classroom resources, guest speakers, outreach programs, field trips and other projects.
"Agriculture affects us all and is an important part of the state's economy," says IALF executive director Will Fett. "We hope these grants allow local organizations to teach more people about food, fiber, fuel and natural resources."
Who is eligible to apply for these IALF grants?
Organizations that have agriculture education as a part of their mission or purpose are eligible to apply. Applicants can apply in one of three areas: Start-up, Scale-up, or Continuing Excellence.
"If you eat, you are involved in agriculture," says Fett. "These grants will help elevate the understanding of where the food on our plate comes from and how it is connected to the farmers who raise and produce it." The deadline for application is March 15, 2015 and the proposed project must take place between March 15 and October 31, 2015. To apply online, or for more information, visit iowaagliteracy.org.
First issue of Iowa Ag Today distributed to classrooms
In other related news, a new magazine about agriculture produced by the Iowa Ag Literacy Foundation is being distributed to school classrooms in some counties in Iowa. The publication is named Iowa Ag Today and is a resource designed to encourage fourth and fifth grade students to explore the connection between agriculture and their everyday lives. It is aligned to academic standards and will add an Iowa connection to science, social studies, math and language arts lessons.
The first issue includes information on various farm animals, seed science, energy, mechanics and GPS, eating healthy, and caring for water and soil. It also features the different crops grown in Iowa and the companies across the state that process raw ag products into food.
About the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation: IALF serves as a central resource for educators and volunteers who want to teach Iowa's students about agriculture. The mission is to educate Iowans, with a focus on youth, regarding the breadth and global significance of agriculture. Iowa is a leading producer of ag products that are essential to feed a growing world population, estimated to reach more than 9 billion by 2050.
IALF believes it is important for all Iowans to understand the essential role agriculture has in their lives. IALF will support existing agriculture education efforts such as FFA, 4-H and Ag in the Classroom. IALF was created through a joint effort of agricultural stakeholders, including the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Silos and Smokestacks Foundation, DuPont Pioneer, GROWMARK, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. For more information visit IALF online at IowaAgLiteracy.org, on Facebook, and Twitter.