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Logo | Illinois Agrivultural Education

FFA is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education..

The FFA Alumni Association supports and advocates for agricultural education and FFA through gifts of time, talent and financial resources..

The mission of the Illinois FFA Foundation is to provide financial support for the Illinois FFA. When you make a gift to the Illinois Foundation FFA, you are investing in the future of agriculture..

The Illinois Association of Vocation Agriculture Teachers (IAVAT) is a professional organization for agricultural teachers at all levels..

The Illinois Association of Community College Agriculture Instructors (IACCAI) is a statewide professional organization for postsecondary agriculture instructors. .

The Illinois Postsecondary Agricultural Student (PAS) Organization provides opportunities for individual growth, leadership and career preparation. .

The Illinois Farm Bureau & Affiliated Companies Youth Education in Agriculture program offers unique educational programs to Illinois youth in 4-H and FFA. .

The purpose of the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Program is to encourage educators to incorporate more information about the agriculture, food, and natural resources system into daily lessons..
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Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE) is a state project administered through the Illinois State Board of Education that is tasked with improving and expanding agricultural education from pre-k through adult levels..

The Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education (ILCAE) is a voluntary, grassroots agricultural industry group focused on the expansion and improvement of Agricultural Education programs at all levels..

The Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education (ICAE) is a 13-member committee established by legislation and appointed by the Governor to advise both the governor and state education agencies concerning Agricultural Education K-adult..

The Illinois State Board of Education is the state agency responsible for Pre-K through 12th grade education. Its primary mission is state program leadership, planning, approval, funding, and evaluation..

The Illinois Department of Agriculture will be an advocate for Illinois' agricultural industry and provide the necessary regulatory functions to benefit consumers, agricultural industry, and our natural resources.. provides information about the Agricultural Education profession and encourages students to consider a career as an agriculture teacher..

MyCAERT provides teachers with an integrated online system to Plan, Document, Deliver, and Assess Career and Technical Education instruction. .

Information Technology and Communication Services (ITCS) Instructional Materials provides agricultural education publications in a variety of formats. .

The Agricultural Experience Tracker is the premiere personalized online system for tracking experiences in agricultural education. .
FFA FFA Alumni IL FFA Foundation IAVAT IACCAI PAS IFB Youth Education IAITC FCAE ILCAE ICAE ISBE Illinois Department of Agriculture MyCAERT ITCS The AET

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ISBE Consultant
Illinois State Board of Education
Principal Consultant, Agricultural Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777
(217) 524-4832
(217) 782-0710 fax
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Welcome - New Year, FY18 IFG Budgets Active, Webinar Links

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

  1. Welcome to a New School Year
  2. FY18 Incentive Funding Grant – Budget Applications Active


Welcome to a New School Year

As you start the new school year, I would like to welcome Agricultural Education instructors across the state.  It is my pleasure to serve Agricultural Educators as your Principal Consultant at the Illinois State Board of Education.  As educators, you have an important role.  Know that your work is part of an important program in our schools.  Classroom teachers are the ones that assist students in being bold by developing their potential inside and outside the classroom.  I want to thank you for all your efforts throughout the year in caring about students, helping to train them for a successful transition into a college or career, and helping them to become better citizens

As we make improvements to our programs and grow as professionals each year, I encourage you to further develop your agricultural programs of study.  Aligning your local agriculture courses with the state course outlines and descriptions is important as well as the ability to offer academic credit for applicable agriculture courses.  I also encourage you to offer students the opportunity of receiving industry recognized credentials or certifications through your program.  You are provided free teaching tools to help you such as those found on the Agricultural Education website and in MyCAERT among others aligned to standards such as the Common Core (CC), Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and AFNR National Standards.  Illinois is in the process of attempting to develop assessments for each of the state suggested agricultural courses that you may choose to use as part of your ability to show student growth.  I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities to develop more students’ SAE projects as a work-based learning component of your programs of study.  Finally, connections outside of your classroom will become increasingly important which is why I encourage you to explore at least one of these connections by working with your postsecondary institutions (community colleges/universities) so as to offer students articulated and/or dual credit opportunities where possible. 

Please continue to make the agricultural education list serve, the website along with and your primary sources of agricultural education information!   Many opportunities are available to teachers and schools and supported through the Ag Ed line item ($5M) in the Illinois State Board of Education budget.  Grants supported through the line item are:  Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE), Incentive Funding Grants (IFG), Growing Agricultural Science Teachers (GAST), and new this fall the Three Circles (FFA & SAE).  Thank you for your continued support and dedication to agricultural education.  I wish you all a successful year.


FY18 Incentive Funding Grant – Budget Applications Active

A webinar was conducted to walk through the completion of the grant application including changes in the application.  It is recommended to review the recorded webinar before completing the application which can be found at this link under resources. One can view the entire webinar (60 minutes) and presentation slides, Part 1 Creating a new account/Accessing the application in IWAS (25 minutes; slides 1-23), OR Part 2 Completing the Budget Application (35 minutes; slides 24-48) depending upon ones needs.

An IWAS blast was recently released indicating the online budget applications for the Incentive Funding Grants for Agricultural Education are now active.  The budget location is located on IWAS at Please complete and submit your budgets online by September 30, 2017 in order to secure a July 1, 2017 start date for the grant.   I strongly encourage the submission of the application by the above deadline so it does not further delay the arrival of funds and so that you are able to incur approvable expenses in this grant starting July 1, 2017.  If budget applications are returned after the September 30 deadline above, the start date of the grant will be the date the budget was submitted to ISBE and you will lose the ability to charge approvable expenses to the grant prior to that start date. 


Before the district will be able to submit the budget application, it is critical that the district has already completed the pre-qualification/registration process completed by the district office.  A district can view its status toward completion of this process by visiting this link and looking for your district name and/or RCDT code.  All cells should indicate approved, active, yes, or completed. If one cell does not indicate one of the previous, the district will not be able to submit the grant (will not be approved for funding).  If the district has not completed this process, the administration should refer to the information and guidance at the GATA website (under registration process).


The allocation amount is based on the x value from the quality indicator application completed June 30, 2017. The district allocation can be found on the budget detail page in the lower left corner. After the first budget is approved by ISBE, it is recommended funds can then be spent.  If there are changes during the year to the approved budget application, be sure to submit an amendment in a timely fashion (prior to the expenditure occurring).


During the year, it is important that the district keep track of grant expenditures so that ALL grant funds are spent according to the last approved budget by the end of the grant. (June 30, 2018)  Given the current delay in state payments, it may be necessary to spend local funds by the grant end date to complete expenditures at which point once the grant funds arrive from the Comptroller the local funds may be reimbursed.  Otherwise if expenditures are not completed by the end date, then the State will request the return of funds.


For quick steps and for more detailed instructions to access or complete the new budget process, access the IFG instructions or review the webinars under resources. (presentation slides).  Once inside the grant, you will also see a link for instructions in the upper right hand corner of each grant page which will provide answers to most questions on what to complete, how to navigate the site, quick steps to complete each page, or what is allowable/non-allowable. 

Listed are a few key points to remember.

  • You must have an IWAS account.  If you do not have an account, you will need to create one.  If you created an account last year, you can use the same account even if you switched schools. (see webinar for more information)
  • If you switched schools from last year or are completing this grant for the first time, you will need to go in and request access to the grant from the new school before you can complete it.  Your District Superintendent grants access. (see webinar for more information)
  • When you access the FY18 budget for the first time, you will click ‘yes’ to create a new project.  Check to be sure the year is correct and enter the school name for the title, then click Create New Project.  When you go back to access this budget later, you will not have to do this; just simply choose from the menu listing of budget applications towards the bottom of the page.
  • The starred items in the IFG instructions table of contents, which are located on the Ag Ed website main page, in the teacher’s toolbox under the folder IFG Budget Information, and in the upper right hand corner of each grant page, are the components you need to complete.  There are quick steps in the instructions.
  • You will need to complete the Performance Report (final report for FY17) when you complete the FY18 budget, so have your final expenditure information available as reported by the district. It is recommended to work with the district administrative or business office on this.
  • Due dates:  Budget submitted by September 30, 2017.  Amendments submitted by April 30, 2018 and all funds spent by June 30, 2018.

There are changes to the grant pages and its guidelines (located in the instructions) for FY18 that will impact the budget application. Those changes were discussed in the webinar and are noted below. (for more detailed information, see the webinar)

  1. Changes to existing pages in the grant.
    • Applicant Information – Choose the geographic area impacted for this grant.  In most cases, these grants are ‘district’ impact.
    • Budget Detail – If the district chooses to take indirect cost, then the cell in the lower right corner of the page is open to insert an appropriate amount.
  2. Due to GATA implementation, required pages (tabs) were added to the budget application.
    • Indirect Cost Rate– If there is no indirect cost taken by the district, then indicate ‘No’ on this page.  If the district does take indirect cost on the budget detail page, then indicate ‘Yes’ with the cost and description specified on this page.
    • Programmatic Risk Assessment – The instructor (or appropriate person assigned by the district) should complete this assessment.  Complete each subtab by following the directions on each page and answering according to the district’s situation.
    • GATA Pages
      1. Uniform Grant Agreement (UGA) – This (and associated subtabs) is to be completed by the instructor (or appropriate person assigned by the district).  The applicant must assure each page was reviewed by checking a box at the bottom of the page.
      2. Notice of State Award (NOSA) - This (and associated subtabs) is to be completed by the instructor (or appropriate person assigned by the district).  The applicant must assure each page was reviewed by checking a box at the bottom of the page. In subtab ‘Part One’ (1.1), the type of entity (i.e. governmental) must be chosen.
    • Assurances – This has several subtabs the authorized official (i.e. District Superintendent) must check the box and save prior to submitting to ISBE.
  3. As a reminder for those who are charging extended contract time (or other similar payments/expenditures that would incur TRS time/benefit) to the grant, then the amount of TRS benefits expense must also be shown in object code 200 of the budget. Both salary and benefits together count toward the 50% limit.  If TRS benefits are paid by the local district (not by the grant), then indicate this in the description with the extended contract time budget line (i.e. benefits paid by district). 
  4. If planning to take advantage of the new Three Circles (FFA & SAE) Grant this fall (grant will partner with the district to pay instructors for 400 additional hours), then it is advised not to include extended time in the Incentive Funding Grant so as to avoid the overlap of grant expenditures for common time.  If one intends to apply for the new grant and does not include extended time now in the IFG, then you can amend the IFG this fall to include extended time if necessary (plans change).

If you have questions of a programmatic nature, call either Harley Hepner or the FCAE staff.  If you have questions of a technical nature, you can call the Help Desk at 217-558-3600.

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