FARINA — As Illinois continues to face an agricultural education teacher shortage, one group is tackling the issue through a grant program for beginning ag teachers.
This month, Timothy Bolin, ag teacher at South Central High School in Farina was one of four new Illinois ag teachers to receive this new teacher grant.
Each teacher was selected based on excellent efforts in the classroom, as well as strong short- and long-term personal and program goals.
The Illinois Farm Bureau, through its charitable arm, the IAA Foundation, created the Illinois Agricultural Education Teacher Grant Program.
Illinois Farm Bureau provided seed money to begin the program, and the IAA Foundation will administer the program, while actively seeking more funding partners to continue adding new groups of first year teachers into the grant program.
All told, the program hopes to fund 32 teachers over a 12-year timeframe.
Illinois agricultural education teachers completing their first year in the classroom are eligible to apply for this grant.
The amount of the grant payment will increase over the course of the teacher’s first five years in the classroom, up to $10,000 total in personal income, if they remain active as an agricultural education teacher in the state of Illinois.