New York Agriculture in the Classroom | April 2018
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Important Dates:

April 15- White-Reinhardt Mini Grant Applications Due

April 23- National AITC Conference Scholarship Applications Due

May 25- Final Agricultural Literacy Grant Applications Due

June 12,13,15- Meat Your Beef Tour

June 27-29- National AITC Conference in Portland, ME
"Meat Your Beef" Farm to Fork Tours
In partnership with the New York Beef Council, New York Agriculture in the Classroom is excited to announce the second annual "Meat Your Beef" Tour. This f ood system training is available for teachers across the state who are  interested in  learning more about the meat production industry in New York, have questions about how beef cattle are fed, cared for, and marketed, and want to give a first-hand perspective on food production to their students. Learn more about this opportunity and register here
Let us pay your way to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Portland, Maine!
Join New York Agriculture in the Classroom for the premier professional development conference about teaching through a lens of food and agriculture. Sixty teachers from New York will be selected for expenses-paid attendance to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in downtown Portland, Maine. Teachers from across the nation will gather to learn from skilled presenters, engaging keynote addresses, and from each other. 

Included with the scholarship is conference registration and meals, transportation, a double occupancy hotel room, and 28 hours of CTLE Professional Development. Scholarship applications are due April 23, 2018. For more information about the scholarship and the application, check out our website
Funding for your Creative Classroom Projects - Apply for an Agricultural Literacy Grant
The new Agricultural Literacy Grant was created to help fund your most creative ideas to teach through a lens of agriculture. Submit your great idea to enhance your classroom learning and let New York Agriculture in the Classroom support your endeavor to include agriculture as a context for learning.

An Agricultural Literacy Grant proposal can be anywhere between $10 to a maximum of $1,200. Proposals for the Agricultural Literacy Grant can include, but are not limited to: f unding for farm field trips, p urchasing agriculturally accurate books, m aterials for classroom projects, s tarting a courtyard chicken coop, and e xpanding your school garden project, and more. 

Grant proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until Friday, May 25, 2018 and s ubmissions will be reviewed every two weeks. Find more information and the  application here
Get Funding For Your Ag Literacy Project!
Do you have an ag literacy project or program idea? Work through your state or county Farm Bureau to apply for a White-Reinhardt mini-grant! 

The White-Reinhardt Mini-Grant Program funds projects that will increase agricultural literacy. New this year, county and state Farm Bureaus may apply for $1,000 grants for education programs for grades K-12 in order to initiate new ag literacy programs or expand existing programs. They  are looking to fund innovating and exciting programs that teach learners about our food, fiber and fuel systems. Applications must be submitted online by April 15th, 2018. Learn more and read about who won the last round here
FFA State Convention Judges and Volunteers Needed
The New York State FFA Convention will be held in Rochester, NY this May and they are looking for contest judges for their career and leadership focused competitions and general volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, you can sign up here or if you are interested in judging, you can sign up here
Email Catie Rowe  for more information about coordinating contests.

Teacher of the Year Spotlight
Sue Kendzierski- Teacher of the Year, High School Division
New York Agriculture in the Classroom is pleased to announce the selection of Sue Kendzierski as one of our 2018 Teachers of the Year, in the high school division. 

From seed germination in her green house, to the outdoor Flushing High School garden where lettuce and zucchini grew for the students to taste and see, Sue took her students on a new journey into the future. She is helping her students envision indoor Vertical Gardening, food co-ops in her neighborhood, healthier diets, along with alliances and outreach within their neighborhoods with businesses where future graduates can reach their endeavors of part-time and/or full-time employment in the food services/ building/ and or commerce industries.

Congratulations, Sue!

Read more about Sue and our other outstanding Teachers of the Year here

Teacher Resources
How Are Seedless Fruits Grown?
Explore how seedless fruits are made and how trees are reproduced without seeds with this short video. This video could spark conversations in your classroom about convenience shopping and what the definition of genetic modification is. You can find more information about the  intersection of genetic research and the real world applications of genetics with the media and policy worlds at the Genetic Literacy Project. This site encourages students to think critically to disentangle science from ideology. 
Classroom Beef Resources
For the past several years the American Farm Bureau Foundation has hosted national "On the Farm" immersive experiences for educators to connect them to STEM principles applied in the beef industry.  Last year, select "On the Farm" alumni were challenged to take what they learned and apply it by creating a shareable resource.  Five distinct resources were developed and have been approved by USDA. You can find these and many more resources provided by the New York Beef Council here

While these resources were developed by educators, AFBF greatly values the feedback of other educators as they strive to make these tools relevant across the country. They would love to have educators in the state review these resources and complete a short  survey found here To encourage participation, they are offering the following to the first 10 educators to complete the survey: a class pack of Beef Ag Mags, a True Beef DVD, link to download the True Beef Educator Guide and a $15 credit to the  store. 

A Garden Plot: The Tale of Peter Rabbit
In this lesson, K-2 students will identify foods grown in a garden, observe various types of seed, and grow their own "milk jug" garden. Students will hear the  Tale of Peter Rabbit , by Beatrix Potter and learn about produce that is grown in gardens or on farms.
April Showers Bring May Flowers
What better way to celebrate the beginning of sprig than learning about Flower Power. In this lesson and the included activities, students will observe physical characteristics of flowers and explore principles of pollination through dissection, an origami art project, and an active pollination activity. This lesson is available for grades 3-5 and grades 6-8
It's a MOO-stery!
Students will be introduced to the dairy industry and will make observations about how historic tools such as a butter paddle, cheese press, and milk tester can be used to process milk on a dairy farm. This lesson is best for grades K-2, but could be adapted for older students. 
Middle School/ High School
Food Matters
This website is published by the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. These briefings report on the most pressing environmental challenges facing the world today. Use the articles to promote critical thinking and problem solving skills within your classroom. 

How Mendel's Pea Plants Helped Us Understand Genetics
This three-minute video does a great job of quickly explaining several key concepts. Cleverly animated peas illustrate the difference between dominant and recessive traits and how these traits can be diagrammed using Punnett squares. The difference between genotype and phenotype is also covered, and the importance of Mendel's discoveries is nicely put into a modern-day context. Use this video as an interesting way to introduce a genetics lesson. 
Veterinary Sciences 9-12: The Classroom Curriculum
This newly revised interactive curriculum provides over 160 lessons that can be configured to create a distinctive curriculum to fit the changing and unique needs of every classroom. The included lessons are STEM and literacy integrated lessons created and reviewed by agricultural teachers, industry, and post-secondary institutions with flexible design provided in MS Word and PDF versions and allow instructors to create personalized courses. Check out some sample lessons and purchase the curriculum here
Milk: The Scoop on Chemical and Physical Changes
In this lesson students apply their knowledge of physical science to dairy products to determine if the changes that take place when turning milk into cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, whip cream and other dairy products, is a physical or chemical change. This lesson can also be used to spark a discussion in your classroom about the current state of the dairy industry and what the resulting future will look like. 
March Book Nook
One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference 
Inspired by true events,  One Hen  tells the story of Kojo, a boy from Ghana who turns a small loan into a thriving farm and a livelihood for many. After his father died, Kojo had to quit school to help his mother collect firewood to sell at the market. When his mother receives a loan from some village families, she gives a little money to her son. With this tiny loan, Kojo buys a hen. A year later, Kojo has built up a flock of 25 hens. This book is part of CitizenKid, a collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens.

The Popcorn Book
Celebrate National Popcorn Day on April 6th by teaching your students about popcorn. In this book, b rothers Tiny and Tony are hungry for a snack, and their mother allows them to make some popcorn. The two boys learn about the history of popcorn in the Americas, how much popcorn is eaten on an annual basis, and methods of popping corn. Two recipes to pop corn are included in this book.

Compost by Gosh!
An entertaining children's book designed to inform young readers/listeners about worms, composting, and soil nutrients. It uses Dr. Seuss like poetry and child-like illustrations to explain the process.
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