Kansas Soybean Commission offers funding to FCS classrooms
August 2, 2021 – Kansas family and consumer science teachers can earn money for their classrooms by applying for the “Kansas Soybeans as a Food” program sponsored by the Kansas Soybean Commission.
The program seeks to equip students with knowledge of soy ingredients and preparation of soy foods. Reimbursement is offered for food products purchased for classroom use that contain soy or soy ingredients, and up to half of the money can purchase animal protein or dairy products.
“This program is for all schools,” Margo Ellerman, an FCS teacher at Valley Falls, says. “All you have to do is apply and you are awarded money to share the information that the Kansas Soybean Commission has available to teach students about soybeans in your classroom.”
Ellerman is a frequent participant of the program. She implements the information available in nearly all of her classes, noting that the nutrition and wellness class studies soy as part of healthy eating, the culinary classes experiment with taste tests and many high school students prepare a presentation on soybeans to teach the middle school classes.
A new way to apply launched this semester, expediting the approval process for teachers looking to participate in the program. An online application form, housed at kansassoybeans.org/fcs
Classrooms qualify for two dollars per student, up to 400 dollars for the entire semester, with a minimum payment of 50 dollars. The application involves submitting a count of students enrolled in FCS classes for the semester, by which the eligible reimbursement is calculated and then included in the approval confirmation. At the close of the semester, teachers are asked to submit a reimbursement request – also newly available online this year – with receipts highlighting purchases of eligible food products. The reimbursement is then distributed to the school.
“We need to incorporate agriculture into the classroom and educate our children on its importance,” Commissioner Keith Miller, Great Bend, says of the program, which also includes lesson, recipe and activity ideas to conduct a full unit on soybeans and soyfoods. He concludes, “Each crop has a place in our food system.”