National AITC Conference Newcomer Session

Newcomers to the National AITC Conference!  Welcome and Watch this video first!

Next some links to support this video

Check out the National AITC Website at with a link to more conference info!

The Schedule is located at :

Look at the complete program guide at

The Wednesday Morning Traveling Workshop descriptions are at but realize that  it is too late to change tours for some of these based on seating and hearing capacity.

Breakfast Wednesday will be served buffet style starting at 6:15!!



TW2-4-C’S—This is a walking tour!! You will get your 10,000 steps in bright and early!


Check out the Workshop Selections at

Check out our Keynote Speakers

Plan your trip to Kansas City!   Check out

Questions about NAITCO?

Questions?  Contact your STATE CONTACT!

We look forward to seeing you soon!




Take some YA and Agriculture with you to the beach!

Summer is here…and how about a reading list for teachers?  Whet your summer reading appetite with some YA and Ag Books!


Take some YA and Agriculture to the Beach!
A recent survey found that over half of the audience for Young Adult Literature (YA) are adults!  Why not join the ranks and take some YA with you this summer, to the beach, the ballfield or just out to the back yard!
Young Adult Literature, includes pieces you probably remember. Huckleberry Finn, The Outsiders,  and even Harry Potter  are considered YA, and while you might feel guilty or embarrassed about reading books designed for a younger audience, I think the summer is the perfect time to branch out! I believe you’ll find these books entertaining and fast paced.  Remember the audience they are geared toward has many more options for spare time entertainment.   The books are also well written and tackle touch issues but in a hopeful way.  They are typically relatable and many are being made into films or television shows and most are typically shorter.

My choices for YA books with an ag flair for you to use this summer??  Take a gander!


  1. A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck or anything by Richard Peck!
  2. ….and now Miguel  by Joseph Krumgold 1950’s Newberry Medalist with a sheep theme
  3. War Horse by Michael Morpugo…great movie, even better book
  4. Kristina Srpinger’s Just Your Average Princess…. Illinois Author, set in central IL, can’t miss book.
  5. Steering Toward Normal by Rebecca Petruck…life beyond the show ring.
  6. Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s Dairy Queen It is YA….so for the HS crowd and up!
  7. Crosswire by Dotti Enderle…I read it and saw it as a Walker Texas Ranger Flashback!
  8. Chigger by Raymond Bial another Illinois Author, I am positive those 40 and 50 somethings will see your childhood!
  9. Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. A very popular YA author and a Yellow Fever outbreak in colonial times.
  10. Artichoke’s Heart by Suzanne Supplee. Nutrition, friendship, a quick read
  11. Peeled and Squashed by Joan Bauer. Simply great books!
  12. Seedfolks by Newberry Winner Paul Fleishman. Urban gardening at its finest.
  13. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. Certainly some coming of age  and civil rights era mixed in with pollinators
  14. The Year Money Grew on Trees by Aaron Hawkins. In the 1980s it was hard work, now it is STEM Careers!
  15. My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt. Nationa Book Award Winning Author.  GREAT Book!
  16. Taylor Honor Award Winner Black Radishes by Susan Lynn Meyer. Food, Hunger and WWII France.
  17. Pura Belpre Award Winner Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez. A look at immigrant labor in agriculture.
  18. National Book Winner The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata. Wheat and Wheat Harvest.  You’re going to hear more about this!



15 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you’ve got 18 books with an ag message that will help you pass the time in the dog days of summer!  Check your local library or book store for these items!

Mother’s Day and Agriculture

Mother’s Day and Agriculture

First a Video

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History of Mother’s Day

Illinois Flowers

Illinois Green Industry Association

Eating Out

French Toast

Wheat, Corn and Soy



Funk’s Maple Sirup

Meet Ruth Zeldenrust

Meet Chris And Audra


Easter and Agriculture

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 Easter’s moveable date

Easter spending   

 Easter Candy and Agriculture

  1. Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Chocolate Eggs (53%)
  2. Chocolate bunnies (48%)
  3. Jelly beans (48%)
  4. Hershey’s Eggs (45%)
  5. Peeps (34%)

Peanut Butter Egg

Chocolate Hollow Bunnies

A History of Chocolate Bunnies

Jelly Belly –Gustav Goelitz—Bellville IL

Chocolate Eggs

Peeps Video

Malted Milk Balls

Easter Inventions—Hinged Egg and Plastic Grass

Inventor’s Secret

The Inventor's Secret<br><font size=2>What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford</font>

Peeps Milk!




Chickens and Eggs

3,700 farms, 4 million laying hens,_Chapter_1_State_Level/Illinois/st17_1_032_033.pdf

Take a tour of a Cage Free Chicken Barn at Pearl Valley eggs at

Vegetables to dye eggs


March Madness Agriculture and Basketball

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Leather Basketball

 Maple Floors


University of Nebraska Cornhuskers


Army Mules for Army’s Black Knights


Artie the Fighting Artichoke—Scottsdale community college
Razorback Hogs of University of Arkansas


University of North Carolina School of the Arts Fighting Pickles

IL Mascots

Hoopeston Area High School Corn Jerkers

Cobden Appleknockers

Mattoon Green Wave

Farmington Farmers

Freeport Pretzels

Urban Farmer Will Allen

(Check out Farmer Will Allen and The Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin)


Illinois Reads

First A Video!


A Graphic Organizer

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Learn more at the following links!

Illinois Reads

Inventors Secret

Watch a video of the book here!

Edison’s Lightbulb

Henry Ford

Fordson Tractors





National Milk Day 1/11

Celebrate National Milk Day January 11!

Watch the video here

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Contact you County AITC Coordinator for copies of the Dairy Ag Mag or Click

Here for an interactive Dairy Ag Mag!

National Milk Day

Milk Jug

Milk in School Lunch

Dairy Farms in IL

Moo to You

Where is my milk from?

Animal Care

St Louis District Dairy Council Adopt A Cow for Next School Year!



Sugar Plums and Figgy Pudding

Watch this You-Tube Video first!

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Some questions (and answers!)

  1. Name the state that just saw it’s last sugar cane processing plant close.  (Hawaii)
  2. What piece of children’s literature made gingerbread houses popular?  (Hansel and Gretel)
  3. Why do some people get oranges in their stocking? (legend says Santa Claus used to bring gold)
  4. What flavoring is produced in abundance in Oregon?  (Peppermint)
  5. What favoring is actually the root (rhizome) of a plant?  (ginger)



 Hawaiian Sugar

 Christmas Cookies


Gingerbread Houses

Animal Crackers

Sugar Plums

Candy Canes



Oranges in Christmas Stockings

Nuts and Nutcrackers


Figgy Pudding



Christmas and Agriculture

Watch this video first!

Discussion Question:

What percentage of the US Christmas Trees are grown on a farm? (98%)

What states lead in production of Christmas Tree?  (Oregon, North Carolina, Washington, Michigan)

What is a Bracts?  (colorful leaves of the poinsettia)

Where are Poinsettias originally from?  (Mexico)

What is special about Female Holly plants? (has berries)

What is the State Tree of IL?  (White Oak)

What is the State Tree of Delaware? (American Holly)

Anglo Saxon Mistle (meaning dung) and Tan (toe) means twig.  Why are birds important to Mistletoe?

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Related Links

Christmas Trees



Mistletoe (more than a Justin Bieber song!)


The 2016 Book Review!


Check out the Book Review–A video and hard copy!


In time for Small Business Saturday….or a visit to you other local favorite book store, it is time to take another look at a couple of good books with an agriculture message.    This year it seems that my common theme is ‘causes’. It is ironic how many causes you can make with an agriculture link.  


The Last Great Adventure of the PB & J Society by Janet Sumner Johnson (ISBN:978 1-62370-636-4).  In Illinois, roughly 53% of all students are eligible for free and reduced lunches.  This 4th-8th grade book explores friendship and economic hard times, including hunger.   What is it like to be hungry and help a friend?  Hunger might be next door and a bountiful food supply is the answer

Sleep Tight Farm by Eugenie Doyle (ISBN 978-1-4521-2901)  My cause here is that farming is hard work!  This Pre-K to 2 picture book showcases a small farm getting ready for winter.  Nothing is typical about any farm, but the hard work that goes into all aspects of farms is apparent in this book!

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson (ISBN 978-0-06-229889-8)  Have you seen any unkind acts or words in the last week or so?  This Pre-K to 2 picture book that shows there is a little more than planting and harvesting in every seed!  A little kindness goes a long way in this beautifully illustrated book.

The Flight of the Honey Bee by Raymond Huber (ISBN 978-0-7636-7648-3).  Pollinators and agriculture are a cause you’ll continue to see in the coming year.  Pollinators are an agriculture priority, and this K-2 Read and Wonder book is complete with excellent vocabulary is part of our IAITC Book Grant Pollinator Bundle.   The message is in harmony with the message of farmers!

Water is Water by Miranda Paul (ISBM 978-1-59643-984-9  The water cycle told through beautiful illustrations and delightful poetic text.  Although this looks like a Pre-K to 2 book, but we consider it a big part of our IAITC Environmental Stewardship Book Grant Bundle.

And the list of causes goes on.  Looking for a book on labor and agriculture?  Check out Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez (ISBN 978-030705851230).  The history of genetics, biotechnology and plant science can be discovered in Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas by Cheryl Bardoe (ISBN 978-0810954755).  Students with unique needs and STEM can both be found in Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery (ISBN 978-0-547-44315).  And of course if you are looking for an Illinois book about what it is really like to farm check out Heartland by Diane Siebert (ISBN 978-0064432870). This classic has recently been re-released and the combination of lyrical writing and outstanding illustrations by Aurora native Wendell Minor. 

Happy Reading!

Kevin Daugherty is  the Illinois Farm Bureau  Education Director for the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program and an avid reader.  He is currently reading That Hidden Road  (ISBN 978-1627201339) by Illinois native Rocco Versaci. It is the memoir of a bike ride across America. This book has great descriptions of the rolling fields of all sort of agriculture, as well as a reminder of the IAA Foundation Bike Ride for Agriculture!