Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) is a national program that seeks to help students, Pre-K through 12th grade, gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society, so that they may become citizens who support wise agricultural policies.
Click here to download an informational PDF about Agriculture in the Classroom.
AITC accomplishes its goals by providing resources for students and teachers to gain a deeper understanding of how their food is produced. Importantly for teachers, AITC seeks to work within existing curricula and state standards to provide basic information on our nation’s largest industry: agriculture. Some of the concepts AITC resources and curriculum emphasize are agriculture and history; the geography of agriculture; agriculture and technology; the economics of agriculture; agriculture and the world; careers in agriculture; and agriculture and public policy.
Individuals representing farm organizations, agribusiness, education and government carry out the program in each state, focusing on local needs and interests.
On a local level, county AITC coordinators and other volunteers serve as contacts on the program. They can assist in arranging teacher training workshops, obtaining materials, organizing farm or agribusiness tours, or coordinating “farmer in the classroom” presentations. Wisconsin AITC has especially focused on providing agriculture resources to elementary teachers through classroom presentations, teacher training, and other special events. Program activities are carried out in partnership with numerous agricultural organizations, businesses, and government agencies.
Grants are available to support groups working with agricultural literacy projects and mini-grants are available to educators seeking to integrate more agricultural education into their classrooms. Wisconsin AITC also coordinates 59 soybean science kits made available by the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board. Other programs include a 4th-5th grade essay contest, children’s book program, Wisconsin Fun Faces of Agriculture lesson plans, and various other training opportunities.
Ag in the Classroom has been staffed and coordinated by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation since 1983, when the program was introduced in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin program is funded by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, other agriculture groups, and a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
Darlene Arneson, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation
Ag in the Classroom Coordinator
PO Box 5550
1241 John Q Hammons Drive
Madison, WI 53705