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Ag Literacy Lines

A blog featuring fun information on agriculture for youth and adults.

Summer Ag Institute!

Posted by Danielle Gerndt -

I'm very excited for this year's Summer Ag Institute! I thought it would be a good idea to do a blog update answering some common questions I've gotten so far about this years SAI.

First, our institute will be a four day long workshop where teachers who attend will gain TONS of resources to take back to their classrooms. We hope for each teacher to leave with a box of materials, lessons, and example make-and-takes to easily introduce the new ideas gained into their classrooms.  Ask around in your school for teachers who have completed previous years institutes and see how they liked it!

The SAI will start Thursday, June 12th with lessons from Ag in the Classroom, all paired with Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards.  We will also go over some of our popular kits.  A farmer panel will wrap up the day to give teachers an opportunity to talk to some organic and non-organic farmers about how they run their operation and what their daily activities include.

On Friday, we will have a full day of touring.  This year, we are going to visit the Twin Groves Wind Farm, have a "working lunch" at Avanti's, and then visit Rader Family Farms, then on to Ropp Dairy Farm, all in Bloomington.  I hope teachers will gain an understanding of how agri-tourism is a growing industry, and see how these families are playing a role in the communities in which they are surrounded by. 

We have the weekend off, then will start back up on Monday with a visit from Illinois Ag in the Classroom in the morning, and Luke Allen from FCAE (Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education).  They will go over the newest resources, lessons, and books that are available to teachers.

On our final day, Tuesday the 17th, we will begin with a tour of Incobrasa in Gilman, then hear from our commodity groups such as Dairy and Corn.  We will wrap up the institute with some reflection, how everything learned can be implemented in your classroom, and how Ford-Iroquois Ag in the Classroom can help.

Teachers will have the opportunity to earn 28 CPDU's, or can opt for 2 grad credits through Aurora University(extra cost of $200).  If you have taken the SAI for two Aurora credits, you will not be able to get credit again, only CPDU's. Our cost this year is $150, and will cover everything needed for the four days(bus to Bloomington, all food, all materials, all tour admissions, etc).  There is a $50 non-competitive scholarship from Farm Bureau that is available to teachers upon completion of the institute. The lessons will benefit teachers in every discipline, grades pre-K through 12.  Prizes will be given out through out the workshop to random teachers including books and other new teaching materials from Illinois Ag in the Classroom.

If you are interested in attending this year, or have any other questions, you can contact me at or by phone at 815-268-4051.  Registration can be completed here on our website or through a paper application if you contact me.

I look forward to seeing you this summer!

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