Grants give opportunity to add Agriculture to McLean County Classrooms

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Agriculture is an industry worth celebrating and McLean County Chamber of Commerce does that through their annual Agriculture Awareness Breakfast. The event allows University of Illinois Extension and McLean County 4-H the opportunity to celebrate teachers and students of our communities that are working to incorporate agriculture into their lesson plans, classrooms, and youth learning experiences.

Grant opportunities, such as the John Maitland Agriculture Awareness Grant and the George E. Holder Agriculture Awareness Grant, provide opportunities to McLean County teachers to receive funding for proposed classroom projects to teach youth the various components of Agriculture.  

The 2021 recipients recognized at the annual McLean County Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Awareness Breakfast for the John Maitland Agriculture Awareness Grant are Kristin Myers of Tri-Valley High School, Jayme Corcoran of Washington Elementary, and Anna Hanrahan of Heyworth Elementary.

University of Illinois Extension 4-H Youth Development Educator for McLean County, Katie Buckley shared that, “Myers will provide a hands-on learning experience for her high school horticulture class and K-8 floral workshops through floral arranging curriculum, Corcoran plans to expand their hydroponics garden with an addition of a greenhouse, and Hanrahan will be adding hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponic opportunities in the classroom.”

The opportunity to add this curriculum helps encourage and explore their student’s creativity and artistic styles of learning. Adding agriculture to the classroom expands opportunity and growth.

2021 Maitland Grant Winners
PHOTO CAPTION: 2021 John Maitland Grant Recipients (L to R) Kristin Myers, Tri-Valley High School; Jayme Corcoran, Washington Elementary; and Anna Hanrahan, Heyworth Elementary.

The 2021 recipient of the George E. Holder Agriculture Awareness Grant is Brad Marcy from LeRoy High School. The funds from this grant are in honor of the late George E. Holder and will be used to fund gardening projects for the schools that will serve the students and/or the community. Buckley mentioned that, “Marcy plans to use the funds on a project to serve the LeRoy Community as a Food Garden for local food-insecure households.” This service-learning project will involve cross-curricular engagement with the agriculture, history, and science departments at LeRoy High School.

Holder Grant Winner
PHOTO CAPTION: 2021 George Holder Grant Recipient Brad Marcy, LeRoy High School.

Winners of the Agriculture Awareness Placemat Contest are also recognized at the breakfast. Nick from Corpus Christi (1st Grade), Kennedy from LeRoy Elementary (2nd Grade), Liam from Corpus Christi (3rd Grade), and Emma from Corpus Christi (5th Grade) were all recognized for their hard work and creativity in illustrating what exactly agriculture means to them.

Agriculture Awareness Placemat Contest Winners
PHOTO CAPTION: 2021 Agriculture Awareness Placemat Contest Winners

Congratulations to all recipients and thank you for continuing to spread awareness of Agriculture to area youth and communities.


SOURCE: Katie Buckley, 4-H Youth Development Educator, serving McLean County.

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