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FFA is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education..

The FFA Alumni Association supports and advocates for agricultural education and FFA through gifts of time, talent and financial resources..

The mission of the Illinois FFA Foundation is to provide financial support for the Illinois FFA. When you make a gift to the Illinois Foundation FFA, you are investing in the future of agriculture..

The Illinois Association of Vocation Agriculture Teachers (IAVAT) is a professional organization for agricultural teachers at all levels..

The Illinois Association of Community College Agriculture Instructors (IACCAI) is a statewide professional organization for postsecondary agriculture instructors. .

The Illinois Postsecondary Agricultural Student (PAS) Organization provides opportunities for individual growth, leadership and career preparation. .

The Illinois Farm Bureau & Affiliated Companies Youth Education in Agriculture program offers unique educational programs to Illinois youth in 4-H and FFA. .

The purpose of the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Program is to encourage educators to incorporate more information about the agriculture, food, and natural resources system into daily lessons..
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Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE) is a state project administered through the Illinois State Board of Education that is tasked with improving and expanding agricultural education from pre-k through adult levels..

The Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education (ILCAE) is a voluntary, grassroots agricultural industry group focused on the expansion and improvement of Agricultural Education programs at all levels..

The Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education (ICAE) is a 13-member committee established by legislation and appointed by the Governor to advise both the governor and state education agencies concerning Agricultural Education K-adult..

The Illinois State Board of Education is the state agency responsible for Pre-K through 12th grade education. Its primary mission is state program leadership, planning, approval, funding, and evaluation..

The Illinois Department of Agriculture will be an advocate for Illinois' agricultural industry and provide the necessary regulatory functions to benefit consumers, agricultural industry, and our natural resources.. provides information about the Agricultural Education profession and encourages students to consider a career as an agriculture teacher..

MyCAERT provides teachers with an integrated online system to Plan, Document, Deliver, and Assess Career and Technical Education instruction. .

Information Technology and Communication Services (ITCS) Instructional Materials provides agricultural education publications in a variety of formats. .

The Agricultural Experience Tracker is the premiere personalized online system for tracking experiences in agricultural education. .
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Kevin Daugherty
Illinois Agriculture In The Classroom
Education Director
1701 Towanda Avenue
Bloomington, IL
(309) 557-3676
(309) 557-2098 fax
[email protected]
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Aurgust 28, 2017 IAITC FarmWeek

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017

Welcome to the FARMWEEK Reading Activity from Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom.

Another in the series of Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom non-fiction text examples to be used in your classroom.  Remember, these will be available every MONDAY afternoon that FarmWeek is published during the school year.


Questions about this can be directed to Kevin Daugherty, Education Director of Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom at [email protected]


**Reminder these questions are designed to use with the on-line version of FarmWeek.

Note, by request of teachers we have included the answers to the questions immediately following the questions.   

Digging into nutrient management (page 3)

  1. Describe a woodchip bioreactor. (trenched filled with woodchips that allow bacteria to convert nitrate in drainage tile water to harmless nitrogen gas)
  2. Where does Mercer County farmer Jeff Kirwan get his woodchips? (a local tree trimming service)
  3. The Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy is working to keep nitrogen and phosphorous from entering waterways that impact the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico.  Hypoxia is water with lox oxygen levels.   What is impacted by the Gulf of Mexico having lower oxygen levels?  (wildlife and aquatic species living in the Gulf, among other answers)
  4. Jeff Kirwan placed the bioreactor to learn more about conservations practices on his farm.  Why is it important to consider conservation in all aspects of earning a living? (Answers will vary, but should include impact on environment.)
  5. Kirwan hopes that a symbiotic relationship can be discovered between municipalities and farmers to help utilize wood chips.   A symbiotic relations is described  as a close interaction between two or more species, some are beneficial, some are harmful.  Describe how farmers using woodchips from a local municipality could be symbiotic.  (Answers will vary but include Municipalities--towns and cities, have woodchips from normal tree trimming, these are typically chipped and used for mulch.  There can be an overabundance of landscape waste chips, farmers maybe able to use the woodchips in a bioreactor to help lessen the impact of nitrogen entering the waterway)
  6. Dr. Laura Christianson likes calling the woodchip area a ‘bioreactor’, although some area farmers confused the bioreactor with a nuclear reactor.   Describe why the name fits the woodchip area, and propose potential new names.   (Answers will vary.)

You might enjoy the entrepreneurial article on Whiskey Acres Distilling Company on page 5, as well as the information on School Funding on page 1.   

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