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Source: Compeer Financial news release

Bloomington, Illinois -- Students will understand that soil is much more than dirt, thanks to a gift from Compeer Financial.

Today, representatives from Compeer Financial provided a $15,000 contribution to Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC). Funds support the development and print cost of a Soil Ag Mag, an educational classroom resource for students.

"The work of Agriculture in the Classroom plants a seed in minds of young students, helping them make a connection between food and farmers," said Karen Schieler, Senior Corporate Giving Specialist at Compeer Financial. "This connection, and helping young people better understand agriculture creates a better future for our clients and the next generation of clients."

"Ag Mags continue to serve as a cornerstone publication of the IAITC program," said Kevin Daugherty, IAITC Education Director. "And soil serves as an excellent topic for students to develop inquiry skills. Understanding soil is not only important from an environmental and sustainability aspect, but there are rich science conversations and correlations to soil as well."

The IAITC program will release the new Soil Ag Mag this Fall. All IAITC materials are available through local ag literacy coordinators, and available to teachers at no cost.

"Donor funds help provide free resources to local teachers to use throughout the school year," said IAA Foundation Director Susan Moore. "This gift will keep the Soil Ag Mag available in print for the next three years."

Through its pledge to fund rural America, Compeer Financial dedicates 1 percent of annual net earnings to its Fund for Rural America. In 2018, this included $3.2 million in gifts impacting the lives of 2.2 million. In addition to its support for IAITC, Compeer Financial supports education, youth engagement, rural development and community enrichment and agricultural advocacy through gifts to 4-H, FFA, and most recently a significant gift to renovate livestock buildings on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

The IAA Foundation supports Illinois farm families and the future of agriculture through education. Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom is the top fundraising priority. Each year, IAITC reaches 700,000 students and 42,000 educators with classroom lessons, resources and training opportunities.