Thursday, December 16, 2010

2011 Teacher of the Year

The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program is pleased to announce the 2011 Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year is Dr. Kammie Richter of Oakwood Junior High School, Danville, Illinois. Dr. Richter received a plaque and a trip to the 2011 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She will also be the Illinois nominee for the National Excellence in Teaching Agriculture Award.

Dr. Richter and her husband own a small family farm, and she is able to incorporate agriculture lessons into her existing curriculum on a regular basis in both Social Studies and Art. Her unique methods of incorporating agriculture include units on economics, careers, food and culture. Richter provides opportunities for her students to experience agriculture, food production, and food science in innovative ways including her Assembly Line Antics program, where students produce a snack mix, each representing a different part of the food delivery chain, or her example of grocery store employment opportunities. Local history and agriculture are also featured in relation to both Lincoln and Deere and the important contributions they both made to agriculture and that still exist today.

Dr. Richter strives to teach her students the importance of American agriculture on a daily basis. Her commitment to her students and her dedication to Agriculture in the Classroom is to be commended, thereby making Dr. Kammie Richter this year's leader for Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yummy Little Christmas Trees

Primary Subject: Art

Grade Level: Pre-K to 2nd Grade

Objective: To create edible Christmas trees


Sugar ice cream cones

Cool Whip

Green food coloring

Various candies

Colored popcorn

Candy sprinkles


Plastic knives

Paper Plates


Tint the cool whip with green frosting before beginning this project. Distribute paper plates. Provide each student with a sugar cone and a plastic knife. Invert the sugar cones. Students may hold the cones with one hand and ice the cones with the other. Demonstrate how to "ice the Christmas trees." Simply spread the coloring Cool Whip on the sugar cones. Add sprinkles, popcorn and other candies as tree decorations. Eat immediately.

Although this project is great by itself, it can be used to culminate a Social Studies Unit on holiday customs. It is also an excellent "cooking project."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Teacher Open House

The Vermilion County Farm Bureau will be hosting a Teacher Open House on Tuesday, August 31 from 4-7 pm and Wednesday, September 1 from 4-5 pm. This is your chance to sign up for classroom presentations and learning kits. We will have refreshments and make and takes. Don't forget to pick up all your FREE materials.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Summer Ag Institute

The Vermilion County Farm Bureau is making the final preparations for the Summer Ag Institute for teachers which will be held June 7-11 at the Vermilion County Farm Bureau in Danville, IL. Teachers from all over the county will be learning about agriculture and how to incorporate agricultural lessons into their classroom curriculum. Lots of fun field trips are being planned.

May Food Themes

National Asparagus Month

National Barbecue Month

National Beef Month

National Chocolate Custard Month

National Egg Month

National Hamburger Month

National Salad Month

National Salsa Month

National Strawberry Month

National Raisin Month May 2-8

National Candied Orange Peel Day May 4

National Hoagie Day May 5

National Roast Leg of Lamb Day May 7

Have a Coke Day May 8

National Herb Week May 9-15

National Chocolate Chip Day May 15

National Macaroon Day May 31

Friday, April 9, 2010

April Food Themes

Cancer Control Month

Soyfoods Month

National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day - April 2

National Egg Salad Week - April 12-18

National Pecan Day - April 14

National Eggs Benedict Day - April 16

National Garlic Day - April 19

National Cheeseball Day - April 17

National Jelly Bean Day - April 22

National Pigs in a Blanket Day - April 24

National Zucchini Bread Day - April 25

National Pretzel Day - April 26

National Shrimp Scampi Day - April 29

Monday, March 8, 2010

Threshing Wheat

The top of the wheat plant is called the head. The head contains the seeds or kernels and the hairy part called the beard. The stem supports the head and is used for bedding for animals. The leaves are where the food is made for the plant to grow. The roots anchor the plant, absorb water and minerals and store food it has made through photosynthesis.

Give each student a stalk of wheat and a paper plate. Discuss the parts of the plant. Ask each student to estimate how many kernels are on their head of wheat. Ask each student to thresh their wheat head by rolling it back and forth between their hands. After the grain has been threshed out of the head, have the students separate the grain from the chaff. Ask the students to count their seeds and determine how accurate their estimations were. Have all students place their seeds in a cup. Do they have a cup of wheat? How many wehat heads does it take to make a cup of wheat? How many cups of wheat does it take to make a loaf of bread?

For an extension, place the wheat kernels in a clean pepper mill. Grind the wheat kernels to determine how many kernels are needed to make enough flour to bake a loaf of bread.