Agriculture in the Classroom is a free, educational program designed for 3-6th grade students in Peoria County. Rooted in Science, our 30 minute lessons are IL Standards-Based and offer exposure to America’s food and fiber system.

            Ag in the Classroom Ready for

Spring Adventures

Jennifer Glover, Ag Coordinator

The 2018-2019 school year is coming to a close with just a couple weeks left for the students. That means we are wrapping up our program for the year and starting preparations for next year. In April we completed 271 farm critter presentations reaching over 5000 students and 230 teachers. During the month of April we also had the opportunity to make-up an additional 22 presentations on nutrition that were rescheduled due to spring break or testing. It has been an incredible year teaching Peoria County students about Agriculture in their community.

The Farm Critter presentation taught students about the creatures farmers rely on and the various pests farmers contend with in order to grow a successful crop. The students learned about the four categories of pests: vertebrate pests, invertebrate pests, weeds and diseases. They discovered the importance of pollinators, earthworms and microorganisms. We ended the lesson working in groups learning about the various pests (deer, cutworm, weeds, leaf blight) that can attack a farmer’s cornfield. The students’ performed a short skit about a particular pest attacking the field and then the rest of the class had to determine which pest had attacked the corn. There was a great deal of laughter and fun with the skits! Then as we said goodbye to our students for the year we left them with a sweet treat of gummy worms and the reminder that earthworms are helpful farming critters. The students really enjoy learning about animals and insects.

In May we are bringing a live animal experience, Barnyard Discoveries, to eight additional schools. Barnyard Discoveries is owned and operated by Ron Wasson. Ron has a trailer that he brings to the schools that holds a variety of barnyard animals for the students to interact with and learn new facts about agriculture. Barnyard Discoveries animal trailer will visit a total of 10 schools through our scholarship program this spring. In April, Barnyard Discoveries visited Franklin Primary and St. Jude Catholic School. It was Franklin Primary’s first experience with the barnyard program and they were thrilled. The teachers and students were so thankful for the visit. In May, Barnyard Discoveries will visit Norwood Elementary, Norwood Primary, Mossville Elementary and Jr. High, Dunlap Grade, R. A. Jamieson, Dr. Maude A. Sanders, Hollis and Lindbergh Schools.

What an incredible first year I have experienced as your Ag in the Classroom coordinator! It has been filled with meeting and building relationships with several supportive, active agriculturists in Peoria County and in Illinois.

Thank you to every one that has welcomed me to Farm Bureau and shared their passion of agriculture with me. May next year be another fun filled adventure! As always if you are interested in having our 2019-2020 adventures brought to a classroom near you, please send an email to agcoordintaor.peoriacounty@ gmail.com.