Ag is Essential!

Agriculture is all around us – providing food to eat, clothes to wear and so much more! McLean County (IL) teachers can request Ag is Essential activity kits for their classroom: Click here

Reading Materials

Learning Ag-tivities:

Books to Read – set up a FREE account on to read these online books for FREE for up to 14 days! Or contact us to check out hard copies of these or similar books.

Farming Videos

Teachers Explore Fields of Opportunity

Fifteen local teachers had the chance to explore “Fields of Opportunity” with a focus on agricultural careers at the2021 Summer Ag in the Classroom Workshop held in early June.

“Agriculture offers more than 300 career fields,” says Bridget Caldwell, McLean County Ag in the Classroom coordinator. “We want to provide teachers with experiences and resources to connect agriculture to the subjects they teach.”

Tours and hands-on experiences offered ways for teachers to incorporate food and farming with science, technology, engineering, math and literature learning standards.

Participants toured a variety of farms and ag-related businesses including Dean’s Bacon & Beef, 4 Peanuts Produce, O’Rourke Family Gardens, Epiphany Farms, der Bauernhof Farms, Illinois State University Research Farm, Finding Eminence Farm, King Farms, Illinois State University Horticulture Center, Fell Arboretum, Yuton Elevator and Rader Family Farms.

Teachers also had the chance to drive a tractor or combine courtesy of Birkey’s Farm Store.

The workshop provided teachers with professional development credit hours and the option to earn two hours of graduate level credit through University of St. Francis.

Katie Buckley, University of Illinois Extension Educator, McLean County helped coordinate
the workshop. To learn more about Extension’s STEAM in the Classroom program, click here.

Summer AITC Workshop

Join us June 8-11 for our 2021 Summer AITC Workshop for Teachers!

  • 4 Days of field trips, tours & hands on lesson ideas
  • Geared for pre-K to grade 12 educators
  • Earn 30 PDCHs (professional development clock hours), plus 2 graduate level college credit hours available (optional/additional fee)
  • Learn about FREE resources for STEM lessons aligned with Common Core & Next Generation Science Standards
  • Take home lesson ideas, materials & grant opportunities for use in your classroom next year!

Cost is $50 for the workshop.

Tuition for 2 hours of Graduate Credit from St. Francis University is $200

(Course #REAL 694 R Agriscience Educator Institute)

Instructors: Bridget Caldwell, McLean County Ag in the Classroom Coordinator & Katie Buckley, University of Illinois Extension

Please note:

  • Teachers will be responsible for their own transportation to field trip/tour locations, you can arrange your own carpool if desired
  • Masks & social distancing measures may be in place as per health department guidelines

Registration deadline May 28, 2021

Click here to register

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