Kelley Koester - IAA Grant Recipient
The Illinois Farm Bureau, through its charitable arm, the IAA Foundation, created the Illinois Agricultural Education Teacher Grant Program to support new ag teachers who complete their first year of teaching. This marks the third year grants were awarded. Read more - FarmWeek(September 23, 2019)
2019 First Year Agriculture Teacher Grant Recipients are:
- Cody Carman, Neoga High School
- Abby Jacobs, Peotone High School
- Caseelynn Johnston, Bureau Valley High School
- Kelley Koester, Forreston High School
To begin the grant program, IFB provided seed money, and the IAA Foundation is administering it and actively seeking more funding partners to continue adding new groups of first-year teachers. The program hopes to fund 32 teachers over 12 years.
Illinois and other states continue to cope with an ag teacher shortage. Last year, Illinois had 75 ag education teacher openings compared to roughly 30 ag education college graduates. At the same time, Illinois ag education is experience growth with the opening of new and reopening once-closed high school ag programs.
For more information about the ag teacher grant program, go to iaafoundation.org and look under the “What We Support” tab.
Congratulations to these ag teachers. Thank you Illinois Farm Bureau and the IAA Foundation for providing these grants to retain agriculture teachers in the classroom.