Ag in the Classroom (AITC) Committee

Co-Chairs: Barb Kestel & Joan Meier

Mission:  To promote agricultural awareness, education, and understanding among students, teachers, and the general public in order to ensure our continued access to a safe, abundant, and affordable domestic food supply grown in a manner to protect human health and the quality of our environment.  AITC is constantly exploring new ways to reach students in an ever changing rural to suburban setting.  The committee also works with educators to provide educational opportunities and user-friendly educational materials for all ages.  The committee relies heavily on volunteers to conduct classroom visits and assist with other educational events.

Examples of Will County AITC activities:

AITC Ag Expo - The AITC AG Expo is an annual program that is attended by over 1800 students and teachers.  The program uses a “farm to table” approach to educate students about the source of their food.  Students and teachers visit a series of stations, each representing a different ingredient of pizza.  A pizza lunch is provided to all attending.

This program is conducted with cooperation from the Will County Farm Bureau® Board, Joliet Junior College’s Agricultural Sciences Department, the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension, Heritage FS, Inc., the Will County Farm Bureau® Board, as well as other Will County Farm Bureau® Committees.

AITC Classroom Visits - The AITC committee conducts classroom visits to Will County schools upon request.  If you would like to arrange a classroom visit, contact Will County Farm Bureau® (815) 727-4811 or terri@willcfb.com.

AITC Electronic Newsletter - The AITC committee composes and distributes a monthly electronic newsletter, which highlights upcoming AITC events, available resources for educators, upcoming contests, educator scholarships, and grant opportunities.  This newsletter is sent to Will County schools, as well as individual teachers, upon request.  To be added to the distribution list, please contact the Will County Farm Bureau® (815) 727-4811 or terri@willcfb.com.

AITC Workshop - The AITC committee holds workshops to introduce educators to agricultural curriculum kits and to demonstrate how to incorporate the kits into lessons.  These kits are available to borrow for classroom use.  AITC Workshops are conducted in cooperation with Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE) and University of Illinois Extension.

Tri-County Agriscience Educator Institute - The Tri-County Agriscience Educator Institute is a four-day program for educators, hosted by Grundy, Kendall and Will County Farm Bureau®s, and Joliet Junior College. The institute is eligible to earn Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs) or graduate credits to Aurora University.  It focuses on current agricultural issues, innovative teaching, and includes field trips, hands-on experiences, and a classroom plan.