Agriculture has been Mr. Bloomstrand’s life long focus; from growing up on a grain and livestock farm in East Central Illinois to receiving an Agriculture Engineering Degree from the University of Illinois. He has been presenting the Ag in the Classroom Program since 2002 to 4th graders in Cook County. He has also begun presenting our Ag Science and Careers Program to middle school students.
As a young child Toni lived on the island of Malta where her grandfather worked on a dairy farm. Her family eventually settled in Lansing, IL where Toni went into teaching fourth grade for 25 years. As a teacher she became familiar with AITC, and invited them back to her fourth grade class every year. Being so impressed with the program that upon retiring she decided she would like to be part of it. She has been a presenter since 2009 and loves being with the children and teaching them the impact agriculture has in their daily lives.
Mrs. Dunn has been a presenter with Ag in the Classroom since 2007. The highlight of this job for her is being able to reach out to children who know little or nothing about agriculture and watch them absorb the information she presents. They quickly realize how agriculture is all around them everywhere, every day! Mrs. Dunn travels extensively and has been to Israel, Egypt, and all over Europe. She also volunteers to teach people English with the Sisters of St. Joseph Literacy on Wheels Program.
Mrs. Koukol is a certified teacher with 13 years of classroom teaching, most in fourth grade. During those years she taught about agriculture in her classroom and took workshops on agriculture from Ag in the Classroom. She was the Illinois Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year for 2013. Mrs. Koukol enjoys teaching children about agriculture so they understand how important it is to their everyday life.
Mrs. Lesser was born in Chicago but has always had a love for farming.While in college she worked for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and after college became a Kindergarten teacher in Chicago. Agriculture was always part of her lesson plans, from hatching chicks to planting in the spring and everything in between. Every year at graduation the students would talk about what they learned about farming in Kindergarten.
She has attended several National Ag Conferences and has presented at them also. In 2004 she was AITC teacher of the year from Illinois. In 2012 she started working with Cook County Farm Bureau teaching the 4th Grade Field Trip and enjoys sharing Illinois Agriculture with so many classes.
Amy Toth began with Ag in the Classroom in 2015. She is a certified teacher who has taught both second and fourth grade. She loves to visit fourth grade classrooms to give her presentations. Amy has a special interest in soybean farming because her family has had a working soybean farm for over 100 years.
Ms. D. Wiley instructed the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program (D.A.R.E.) for 5th graders across Cook County for over ten years. After retirement she served as an adjunct for several years. Ms Wiley welcomes the challenge of sharing information with 4th graders about agriculture. It is her desire and hope that the new found knowledge will increase growth and development while awareness of the agriculture that surrounds remain prevalent.