Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) is offering educators, students and their families a summer roster of virtual learning ideas and activities, including royalty.

Miss Illinois County Fair Kelsi Kessler of Carmi will kick off June Dairy Month by reading “Tales of the Dairy Godmother” online as part of IAITC’s monthlong dairy celebration, said Kevin Daugherty, Illinois Center for Agricultural Engagement director. IAITC will join Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Milk Producers Association and other organizations in sharing dairy information.

Kessler, who represented White County, got her start in agriculture with FFA. Her grandfather operates a farm in Carmi. Details about how to view her presentation will be available here  or on IAITC’s Facebook page.

Daugherty plans to continue IAITC’s Everyday Agriculture lessons through June 12. He launched the daily online lessons and demonstrations March 17. They are available by clicking the tab at the top of the web page.

Summer restrictions are disrupting IAITC’s traditional Summer Ag Institutes for teachers seeking continuing education credits while learning about integrating agricultural topics into their curriculum. With person-to-person instruction out, IAITC pivoted to offer educators virtual weekly teacher training, starting June 2, Daugherty said.

Through June and July, free, one-hour sessions will be presented from 9 to 10 a.m. mainly on Tuesdays. Sessions will be recorded for viewing at other times. Participating details will be available on IATIC’s Facebook page.

As part of the weekly virtual lessons, participants may join virtual presentations from National Agriculture in the Classroom June 24-25. The national conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, was canceled, but two days of online presentations, including one by Daugherty, will be offered during the two days.

IAITC’s June and July offerings include weekly virtual agricultural field trips on Thursdays, starting at 9 a.m. IAITC is working with state commodity groups on tour locations, Daugherty said. Information will be posted on IAITC’s Facebook page.

Along with virtual lessons and activities, IAITC continues to develop educational resource materials. Daugherty explained poultry and apple Ag Mags are ready for printing along with several Terra Nova readers, including ones on cooperatives, renewable fuels and invasive species.

IAITC staff continue to work on logistics to distribute classroom calendars for the upcoming school year to county literacy coordinators, according to Daugherty. The calendars cover months of a school year with daily facts of ag-related information.