b'Illinois Agricultural Education Teacher GrantsA New Crop of Ag TeachersAgricultural education teachers play a special role in growing our future, exposing students to the diverse world of agriculture, and cultivating those experiences into passions for the ag industry. More than 33,000 Illinois high school students are enrolled in agricultural education programs, and over 18,000 high school students participate in FFA programs around Illinois.In recent years, we have faced a growing concern. Young professionals are not going back to the classroom to be educators. And those who do choose to teach have a difficult time remaining in the profession. The hours are long, and the pay is often not reflective of their impact. In 2019, the four major Illinois universities graduated only 28 agricultural education majorsof which, only 15 went on to pursue a career in the classroom.This is why the IAA Foundation and the Illinois Farm Bureau are doing somethingto help. The Illinois Agricultural Education Teacher Grant Program helps support and retain new teachers in the classroom. At the end of their first year, eligible teachers are invited to apply. Each year four new teachers are welcomed in to this 5-year grant program. If they remain successful in the classroom, they can earn up to $10,000 in personal income.Since established in 2017, 12 teachers have been invited into the program and $32,000 has been awarded in grants. To date, the program has seen a 100% teacher retention2019 Illinois Agriculturalrate.Education Teacher GrantRecipients:Caseelynn JohnstonBureau Valley High School Kelley Parks (Koester) Forreston Jr./Sr. High SchoolCody Carman Neoga High SchoolAbby Jacobs Peotone High School8 IAA Foundation Impact Report'