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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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April 2, 2018 IAITC FarmWeek Article RESEND

Monday, April 02, 2018

April 2, 2018



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.   

  USDA Report: Average farm size doubles in 25 years

  1.  Define the following:
    1. Obvious (Clear, visible)
    2. Consolidation (act of combining a number of things into a single more effective coherent whole)
    3. Eroded (act of gradually wearing away)
    4. Episodic (occurring occasionally at irregular intervals)
  2.  In opening of the article, it is shared that it is wrong to blame corporations or government policy for farm consolidation.  Why do you think many people want to blame corporations or the government?  (answers will vary)
  3. The number of crop farms with more than 2,000 acres and those with 1--49 acres increased.  Share your thoughts on why large farms and very small farms increased.  (answers will vary)
  4.  The increase in very small farms can be attributed to what main sources?  (changes in farm definition and statistical procedures that more accurately identify and count farms.)
  5. Explain how technology is a key factor in larger farms. (technology allows farmers to manage more acres and animals 20-40 years ago, and larger, faster, smarter equipment reduces labor hours)
  6. Have you seen consolidation leading to specialization in your area?  (answers will vary, but field crop farmers growing 2-3 crops versus 4-6 crops and livestock producers not growing crops but relying on purchased feed)
  7.  Explain the significance of 98.7% of farms being family owned is an important statistic.  (Family farms, family labor and independent decisions making versus a view of corporate farming is important to the image of farmers.)
  8. Compare the average size of US beef cattle herds to the US hogs from 1987 to 2012. What do you see?  (Answers will vary but beef went from 89-110, hogs 1,200 to 40,000.  This leads us to believe there are still a large number of smaller beef herds, but fewer and larger hog farms.)

* For more information on this report visit

* For more information about Illinois Farmer Image, visit

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