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CCFB News» July 2023

AITC by the Numbers

07/07/2023 @ 2:00 pm

More than 22,000 Students Learn about Agriculture through AITC Program

Cook County Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom (AITC) program brought agricultural education to 22,389 Cook County students during the 2022-2023 school year.


Throughout the school year, CCFB’s AITC program was presented to 22,389 students in 989 classrooms in 208 schools. 95% of the presentations, or 933, were done live; 5% of the presentations, or 56, were done virtually. That number is an increase from the 2021-2022 school year, up 29.87%.


The presentations offered included: “Intro to Illinois Ag” which teaches about the food supply chain, science and technology in agriculture, and how agriculture provides food, fiber, and energy; “There’s Ag on MyPlate” which explains where food comes from and the importance of a balanced diet; “Pumpkin and Apple Fall Facts” about fall specialty crops; “Keeping Warm with Agriculture” about how food and fiber keeps us warm; and “What’s the Dirt on Illinois’ Soil?” which includes the topics of soil science, earthworms, how to prevent soil erosion, and conservation. Additional unique programs were also offered throughout the year.


In the evaluation form teachers complete online after their presentation, educators described the program as “very educational for students,” “engaging,” and “fantastic.” Teachers and their students enjoyed the presentations’ hands-on aspects and games.


“My students wouldn't otherwise be exposed to agriculture, especially the ways that agriculture impacts their lives,” one teacher wrote in their evaluation.


“The students loved learning more about Illinois’ crops and livestock,” another teacher wrote. “I loved seeing them engaged in the demonstrations and the conversations.”


“All my students truly learned something new today,” a third teacher responded. “They loved the presenter, the game, the videos and the experiments. They also truly grasped a better understanding of agriculture.”


All of the presentations explained how agriculture is relevant to students’ everyday life and offered valuable insight into potential agricultural careers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math).


“Our ultimate goal with every presentation is to teach students that agriculture is multidisciplinary and relevant across every topic of their school’s curriculum and aspect of their life,” said CCFB’s Director of Agricultural Literacy, Katrina Milton.


“We also want to make learning fun and exciting,” Milton explained. “From hands-on activities, experiments, and educational games and videos during the presentation, Ag Mags from Illinois Farm Bureau’s AITC for additional reading, vocabulary lists, pre- and post-tests, ag-accurate book recommendations and lesson plans for before and after our classroom visit, our AITC program offers more than an hour of learning. The program is a catalyst, a spark, to ignite students’ love of and interest in agriculture for life.”


The AITC program’s ag literacy mission is “to expand students’ awareness and appreciation for the importance of agriculture everywhere.” The program will continue its mission for agricultural literacy and education during the 2023-2024 school year.


For more information about CCFB’s AITC program, click on the Ag Literacy & Education tab on the Cook County Farm Bureau’s website,

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