WEST DES MOINES —
Agriculture is much more than a farmer driving a tractor across a field. It’s the scientist at the seed company, the sales person at the local implement store and even the veterinarian who cares for pets and livestock alike. Modern agriculture reaches people every day from the jobs they hold, the food they eat, the fuel in their cars and the clothes in their closets.
Farming is a diverse and dynamic industry and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and the state’s county Farm Bureau offices continue to help teachers take that information to their students with an annual Teacher Supplement Grant program.
The program, established in 2003, awards $200 for use in classroom programs that promote agricultural literacy. With Iowans two to three generations removed from the family farm, IFBF’s program works to help today’s students learn about the diverse and dynamic nature of agriculture. The 2013 subject areas are health or wellness with an emphasis on nutrition, art, music, physical education or fitness.
“We’ve awarded nearly $120,000 to teachers in the last three years of the grant program and we’ve been so impressed with the creative ways teachers have devised to bring agriculture to their students,” said Barb Lykins, IFBF director of community resources. “It’s not just buying some books about farming. We’ve seen music teachers creating songs and nutrition classes incorporating information about raising food into their classes. With one of six Iowa jobs related, indirectly or directly, to agriculture, it’s a great opportunity to bring creative ag education to Iowa’s elementary schools and help them understand how farming is part of those students’ lives.”
The program is accepting applications until Feb. 8, 2013. To apply, go to www.iowafarmbureau.com/articles/73415/2012_-_2013_teacher_supplement_grant_program and fill out the online form. Grants will be awarded in March 2013. For more information, contact Lykins at (515) 225-5460.