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National Agriculture in the Classroom


Summary 2020 — Illinois

State Contact

Mr Kevin Daugherty
Illinois Center for Agricultural Engagement
1701 Towanda Avenue
Bloomington, IL 61702
P: 309.557.3334

Innovative Programming Conducted and Educational Resources Developed

  • Launched Every Day Agriculture featuring daily lessons/activities throughout IL shutdown (3-17-20 to 6-12-20) at We saw phenomenal growth in our social sites and received many compliments from teacher, parents, administrators about our materials.
  • Launched Virtual Teacher Training to replace Summer Ag Institutes in Summer 2020. Each Week we had an hour long teacher training on a specific topic.
  • Launched Virtual Teacher Training Field Trips to supplement Summer Ag Institutes. Because going 'off site' is a major part of our teacher training, we took virtual field trips, each an hour long to coincide with lessons we featured. Not to overlook National AITC Conference, we also took a virtual field trip to JY Ferry Farm in Corrine, Utah.
  • As summer turned to fall and IL schools were returning in person (9% of student population), hybrid (12 % of student population) and virtual (79% of student population) IAITC launched monthly themes with weekly lessons on the topic, STEM Classroom Challenges (socially distanced), At Home STEM Activities, At Home cooking Activities. these can be found at
  • Offering Fall 2020 Virtual Field Trips to coincide with monthly themes. August Pollinators (Brookfield Zoo-Pollinator Plots), September Apples (Breitgaum Orchards) Special Soybean Harvest Video with Natalie Pratt (8th grade student), October Pumpkins (Heaps Giant Pumpkin Patch) Special Corn Harvest Video with Charlie Roegge (5th grade student), November Pork (Brinkman Pumpkin Farms) Special Popcorn Harvest Video with Natalie Pratt, December Christmas Trees (Helmig's Tree Farm).
  • Offering Fall 2020 Virtual Author Visits to coincide with Monthly Themes September 'Applesauce Day' by Lisa Amstutz, October 'Pick a Pumpkin' by Patricia Toht, November 'Time for Cranberries' by Lisl Detlefsen, December 'Pick a Pine Tree' by Patricia Toht.
  • Offering PD in Your PJ's in Fall 2020 3rd Saturday of the month previewing materials for next month. 1 hour on Zoom, with an opportunity for teacher to complete a reflection to gain 1 hour of professional development certificate. Average 65 teachers, 18 teachers completed all 4 fall trainings. (Participants who completed form received a small token from sponsor organization (Coffee mugs, meat thermometers, etc,) along with ag mags and lessons.

We developed the following resources:

  • Apple Ag Mag
  • Soil Ag Mag
  • Horse Ag Mag
  • Poultry Ag Mag
  • 50th Anniversary Earth Day Poster

Daily Lessons, Activities, Field Trips, Author Interviews starting the day IL Schools shut down (3-17-20) continuing through the school year (6-12-20) and then virtual info through the summer and continuing as schools opened remote/hybrid and inperson in fall 2020 available at

Major Program Impacts or Outcomes

Entire program was turned upside down on March 12 as shutdown was announced. We immediately pivoted to move our program online, with new staff and various restrictions across the state. Pivoting to meet teacher, parent, administrator, student, county program needs was our goal. We have been amazed at the support. While our program numbers of teacher, students and volunteers dropped about 25%, we still have outstanding financial support at the state and local level.

Program Leader Biosketch

Kevin Daugherty is the Director of the Illinois Center for Agricultural Engagement.

Kevin has been with Illinois Farm Bureau® since April of 2000. Prior to joining the Farm Bureau® staff he had experience in publishing, training and development and as an award winning junior high history teacher in central Illinois.

Daugherty holds a BS in Secondary Education from the University of Illinois, and a MS in Adult Education from Eastern Illinois University.