The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) program will continue to provide free education resources and grants to teachers across Illinois thanks to $100,000 in financial support from COUNTRY Financial®. 

During activities at the Farm Progress Show, Lindsey Rinkenberger, Agribusiness Director, COUNTRY Financial, was recognized by representatives of the IAA Foundation and IAITC as COUNTRY Financial continued its long-standing position as top industry contributor to IAITC. 

“Early learning about farming leaves a lasting impression on children,†said Rinkenberger. “It helps them build an understanding they’ll hold onto for the rest of their lives. Our heritage is rooted in agriculture and our organization has long supported Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom. We care because we know ag learning helps students appreciate how farmers feed our world.â€

Funds provided by COUNTRY Financial and other donors directly support local ag literacy efforts across the state of Illinois, including grants to classrooms and teachers, ensuring IAITC resources are available to schools at no cost.

Last year, nearly 650,000 students and more than 37,500 teachers benefitted from new learning experiences that incorporate agriculture into their daily classroom lessons. 

“Each year, IAITC looks for new ways to connect students to topics that are meaningful to their education, and relevant to agriculture,†said Kevin Daugherty, education director, IAITC. “AITC helps provide local connections to not only food and fiber, but also career links in traditional and emerging career areas of agriculture. Where better to receive this gift to help support agricultural literacy than at the Farm Progress Show, where we are surrounded by the newest trends in agriculture.â€

“As the new school year begins, the IAA Foundation is one step closer to its goal of providing a fully funded year for Ag in the Classroom, said Susan Moore, director, IAA Foundation. “We are beyond thankful for the support of COUNTRY Financial and COUNTRY Financial Representatives throughout Illinois and beyond.â€