Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
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Illinois Ag Education Expanding Urban, Suburban Reach

Seeking to reach more students, Illinois agriculture educators see opportunity in the diverse student populations at urban and suburban schools. But that opportunity comes with challenges.
One challenge is finding curriculum for students more likely to be interested in food science than food production, and in indoor, even vertical, fields than rolling ones. The Illinois State Board of Education through the Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE) is beginning steps to develop an urban-suburban ag curriculum.
The importance of getting diverse students interested in ag isn’t lost on Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch of Hillside. “To create a more equitable Illinois, we need to ensure that all our students, especially minority students in urban and suburban areas, learn about the agriculture industry, natural resources and healthy foods,” Welch told FarmWeek.
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