New York Agriculture in the Classroom | April 2019
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Important Dates:

April 5 Agricultural Literacy Grant Round 3 Deadline

April 19 - Agricultural Literacy Grant Round 4 Deadline

May 1- Purple Plow Challenge Ends

May 21-23- On the Farm Event in Syracuse, NY 

June 18-21- National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Arkansas

Aug. 1- Emeril Lagasse Foundation Grant Apps Due

Oct. 16-18- Food and Farm Experience
Win a Scholarship to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Arkansas!
New York Agriculture in the Classroom wants to support your travel to the premier professional development conference about teaching through a lens of food and agriculture. Teachers from across the state will be selected and supported by the state program for an expense-paid scholarship to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. Teachers from across the nation will gather to learn from skilled presenter, engaging keynote addresses, and most importantly, from each other. 

Included with the scholarship is conference registration and meals, round-trip flight, a double occupancy hotel room, and 20 hours of CTLE Professional Development. Scholarship applications are due Friday, April 5, 2019.  For more information about the scholarship and the application, visit our  website 

Fund your Creative Projects
Apply for an Agricultural Literacy Grant
The 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 1, 2019 and s ubmissions will be reviewed every two weeks. Find more information and the  application here

"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 third 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
Purple Plow Pollination Challenge
The Spring 2019 Purple Plow Challenge is "  What can we do to sustain or improve pollinator well-being?"  Through this challenge, students will become more aware of the important role pollinators play in our daily lives and how to help protect the various populations. This challenge is for students in grades 5-12 and ends May 1, 2019. Find out more on accept the challenge on their website
School Garden Grant Opportunity
Does your school have a school garden at the elementary or middle school level? The Emeril Lagasse Foundation is seeking applicants for a new  five-year grant program with money going toward maintaining and expanding existing school gardens, building out teaching kitchens and training teachers.  Interested schools should submit a letter of interest and then qualified schools will be sent additional application information. Letters of Interest are due August 1, 2019

FFA State Convention Volunteers and Judges Needed
The 94th Annual New York State FFA Convention will be held in Syracuse, NY on May 2-4, 2019 and they are looking for contest judges for their career and leadership focused competitions and general volunteers. Volunteers and judges receive a complimentary meal when they help and could also receive lodging if they volunteer for multiple days. You can register to judge or volunteer here.  
Email Catie Rowe at for more information about coordinating contests.

Food and Farm Experience
This year's FFX will be held on October 16-18, in Corning, NY, and will be packed with essential and useful information about agriculture. Participants will meet with industry experts, employers, and post-secondary educators. Organized tours will showcase a variety of stops along the journey from farm to fork and provide insights for the multitude of career opportunities available in the agricultural industry.   The participants for FFX are selected through a nomination/application process. A fillable pdf application and more information is available from . Deadline for submission is July 12, 2019

Call for Applications- New York State Farm to School Institute 2019 - 2020
The 2019 - 2020 NYS Farm to School Institute offers a comprehensive learning opportunity for food service staff, educators, administrators, and community partners in New York schools to develop and refine their Farm to School programs, and to help bring more New York grown food into the cafeteria and the classroom. This inaugural state-specific Institute is an annual year-long training and continuing education program. Six New York school teams will participate in a three-day Summer Retreat in Rhinebeck, NY to kick-off the year followed by a one-day Fall gathering in the Hudson Valley. Apply here:

Agricultural Literacy Grant Spotlight
DeAnne Dow- Watson Williams Elementary 
"Growing for it at Watson Williams"
This project will be a learning tool for their Special Education Students.  Students in the class will be able to grow fruits, vegetables, trees, and herbs for their cooking lessons.  They will also incubate and hatch chicken eggs.  Students with learning and behavior disabilities will have a hands-on learning environment where a broad range of abilities can work together and learn not just science, but also math, art, and literature while also learning important skills such as working in a group and project planning. Hands-on learning has proven to be most effective and a garden will allow the type of learning where the students will flourish. 
The gardens and hatching will allow first hand observations relating to plant growth, life cycles, environmental studies, habitats, soils, weather, adaptations, structures and designs. Sustainable agriculture practices will be taught in order to "go green" and focus on sustainability.  Ms. Dow will help students create four indoor greenhouses, plant fruit trees and hatch eggs.  The class will harvest what they grow and students will be able to show off plants and trees they have grown from seed.  They will even have the opportunity to bring home veggies to cook or can and will be able to taste the fruits of their labor.

Learn more about the Agricultural Literacy Grant and view the other recipients on our website
Teacher Resources
Elementary Resources
Little Red Hen
In this lesson for grades Kindergarten- 2, students will use the story  T he Little Red Hen  to learn about wheat production and bread making. Students will thresh their own wheat and grind it into flour to make bread. 

Plant Tops and Bottoms 
Students will identify where fruits and vegetables belong on a MyPlate diagram and describe the major parts of plants - roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits according to if they are produced on the top or bottom of a plant. This lesson is best for students in Kindergarten- second grade. 
Paper Apple Activity
How much of the world can we grow food on? This apple activity from Nutrients for Life explains the dynamics of the unique landscapes that the earth possesses, while showing students that less than 3% of the earth has ideal soil and growing conditions for farming.  

Fortified for Health
Students will learn about the process of fortification where vitamins and minerals are added to food to make it more healthful and to help people meet their recommended daily intake of different nutrients. With this lesson, students will reenact an experiment to discover food fortification.

Middle School/ High School Resources
Career Trek
Students in grades 6-8 will explore careers in the fields of agriculture and natural resources through online research in this lesson. They will check their understanding by playing Career Trek-a board game that requires students to identify careers in agriculture and natural resources.

Cruisin' for a Bruisin' Food Packaging Specialist
In this lesson students will learn that product packaging is a balance between function, food safety, and economics by designing a protective package for shipping perishable fruit. Each package will be presented to the class for evaluation, and the best design will be shipped to test the product's durability.
Spice it Up
In this lesson for grades 9-12, students will recognize the difference between a spice and herb, learn how herbs and spices are grown on farms around the world, and be introduced to the many uses for these agricultural commodities. 

The Role of Women in Agriculture
Students will investigate the number of women farmers globally and identify these farmers' impacts on contemporary agriculture in this lesson for students in grades 9-12. 
October Book Nook
Cucumber Soup
All the insects in the garden, from ten little black ants down to one tiny flea, get involved in moving a fallen cucumber. This book includes a recipe for cucumber soup and factual information about the insects in the story. 

Agricultural Inventions: At the Top of the Field
Historically, farming was an exhausting, physical task. Bright-minded individuals revolutionized agriculture with inventions that eased tasks and sped up production. The invention of milestone machines, such as Eli Whitney's cotton gin, are explored chronologically in this book
Look Inside Food
Look Inside Food  is an all-inclusive book highlighting the production of our food from the farm to our table. This interactive flap book includes extensive information and illustrations about the origin of our foods including grains, fruit and vegetables, and food from animals such as milk, meat, and eggs. Even sugar and chocolate begins its production on a farm.
New York Agriculture in the Classroom |
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