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!


Thanksgiving from the Farm!

 You tube video



Mashed potatoes

 Green Beans


 Ranch Dressing








Graphic Organizer


Blank Graphic Organizer

  Stitches and Agriculture

 Heart Valves and Agriculture

 Diabetes and Insulin

 Penicillin and Agriculture

 Eggs and Vaccines

 Aspirin from Bark of Willow Tree

 Chicken Soup


Discussion Questions:

  1.  How do doctors uses agriculture to practice stitches?
  2. What product was streamlined in Illinois at the USDA Ag Research Station in Peoria?
  3. How do eggs play a  role with the flu shot?
  4. What tree helped provide us with Asprin?
  5. What is your favorite comfort food when you are sick?  Explain



World Series

You-Tube Video

Graphic organizer

Blank graphic organizer







Cracker Jack

 Jake Arrieta –

 Ben Zobrist


What type of wood are most Louisville Slugger bats made from?  White Ash or Maple





Farm Drainage

Access a completed graphic organizer

Access a blank graphic organizer

Access the You-Tube Video here






4R Nutrient Stewardship Information


  1. What portion of IL is most likely to be tile drained? (northern 2/3)
  2. What nationality was John Johnston that brought tile drainage to the US? (Scottish)
  3. Name two advantages of tile drained soil (warmer and dryer soil to plant earlier)
  4. In addition to soil, where can you find nitrogen in nature? (the atmosphere)
  5. Name the 4 Rs. (Right Source, Right Rate, Right Place, Right Time)

Check out this new music parody…..”Love Your Nutrients

video link here

A visit to USDA

Graphic Organizer here:

Video link here


Lincoln Establishes

 The People’s Department

 George Washington

Thomas Jefferson

 Jimmy Carter

 Foreign Animal Disease and Interstate Commerce Act/Animal Quarantine

Pure Food and Drug Act

 Extension/Hatch and Smith Lever Acts

USDA Leadership

USDA Budget

 USDA Food and Nutrition Services


  1. What President established the USDA?  (Lincoln)
  2. What President was the last that had direct farm connections? (Carter)
  3. Who is the current Secretary of Agriculture (Vilsack)
  4. What is the largest portion of the budget for USDA currently (Food Security)
  5. How you most closely connected to the USDA (your local extension)


Food Safety

Food Safety

Graphic Organizer



Illinois Ag in the Classroom Livestock Ag Mag

Illinois Ag in the Classroom Beef Ag Mag

Illinois Ag in the Classroom Pork Ag Mag

Meet Farmers


Food Safety




For a graphic organizer of this video click here.

The Video is located here

Discussion Questions about this video.  Answers below the additional links.

  1. Silo mean ” a pit for storing grain” and comes from which ancient language?
  2. What are key differences between a silo and a bin?
  3. The use of what device replaced use of manual labor?
  4. Buffalo, New York was on which canal?
  5. Typically you find grain elevators near rivers, railroads and highways.  What reasons can you give for this?

Predictions for 2016 Harvest

Difference between a silo and a bin:

The Difference Between Grain Bins and Silos

Elevator History

Illinois Grain Code

Find you local elevator


  1. Greek
  2. Silo–Tall, Skinny, Air Tight  Bin-allows air flow, typically round and silver with wavy corrugated metal
  3. Joseph Dart’s elevator replaced using labor of Irish Americans
  4. Buffalo, New York is on the Erie Canal
  5. Answers will vary, but should include aspects of ease of transportation.



Click below for a graphic organizer of the video

Graphic Organizer

Click below for a new feature, questions and answers about the video

Harvest Questions and Answers

Related Links

Autumnal Equinox

 Harvest Moon

 Harvest Moon Song and Lyrics

 Facts on Harvest

 McCormick Reaper

 Hiram Moore Combine


Build your own Case IH combine

 Looking for a used machine?


 Helping Hands

Football and Agriculture


Click on the “agriculture and football” link below for a copy of the graphic organizer for this video:


 Pig Skins

Leather in Footballs from IL

 Cotton and Consumers

 Soy based Football Turf!

 Best Grass for Football Fields

 Illinois Corn




Hoopeston Corn Jerkers


Staley Bears

Westville IL Football Night Lights

NFL Fuel Up to Play 60