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Monthly news & updates
April 2022 | Issue #127
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Read ME Agriculture 2022 Program Evaluation
Did you participate in our Read ME program this year? If so, we'd love to hear from you! Please complete this evaluation to help us continue to improve our program and ensure that it returns next year! Your feedback will be confidential to MAITC Staff. Thank you!

For lessons and activities to use with this book, check out our
Maine School Garden Day!
Maine School Garden Day is BACK!

Join us Saturday, May 7th at Connors Elementary School in Lewiston for a day full of learning and networking about school gardens!
UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Building Agricultural Literacy Through an Immersive Culinary Experience Grant Update 
Congratulations to the following CTE Culinary Arts programs for being awarded $2000 mini-grants to support agricultural literacy education in their programs. These funds are part of the UMaine Extension and Maine Ag in the Classroom multi-year USDA, NIFA, PDAL grant, Building Agricultural Literacy through an Experiential Culinary Arts Experience. FMI: contact Kathy Savoie at

  • Bath Regional Career & Technical - EB Baldwin, Bath ME. Local food procurement, local farmer presentations, classroom pork fabrication lab
  • Mid Maine Technical Center - Drew Jones, Waterville, ME. Classroom Hydroponic Gardening: Greens & Herbs 
  • Northern Penobscot Tech Region 3 - Herman Ammerman, Lincoln, ME. Purchase commercial processing equipment to process local foods: flour mill, meat grinder, vacuum sealer
  • Oxford Hills Technical School - Norma Smith, Oxford, ME. Mushroom propagation, mushroom recipe development, local foods for classroom labs
  • Region 9 School of Applied Technology - Catherine Brown, Mexico, ME. Nose-to-tail curriculum with raising feeder pigs for hands-on experience and classroom pork fabrication lab
  • Somerset Career & Technical Center - Matthew Crate, Skowhegan, ME. Field trips to local food and farm establishments, guest speakers and local food procurement

Continue to Save the Date for the Immersive Culinary Arts Summer Institute, July 25-28, 2022. A professional development opportunity specifically designed for Maine High School CTE Culinary Arts Instructors. For more information, contact Kathy Savoie at:
Teen Agriculture Symposium
Dates: April 18-19, 2022
Ages: 14-18
Location: University of Maine Orono
The 4-H Agriculture Symposium is a FREE overnight experience for Maine youth ages 14-18. Participants will take part in hands-on learning opportunities, engage with industry professionals on UMaine Orono and UMaine Augusta-Bangor campuses, develop leadership skills, and make friendships with teens from around the state. Current 4-H membership is not required. Assistance with transportation can be provided upon request. 
The program is free; registration is required. Current CDC and University of Maine health guidelines will be followed for all in-person events.
This program is made possible with generous support from the Alton ’38 and Adelaide Hamm Campus Activity Fund.
Check out the flyer and registration link for more information.
Maine Nutrition Council Annual Conference
Nutrition from the Sea
The Maine Nutrition Council's 2022 annual conference will be held at the gorgeous Atlantic Oceanside Hotel and Event Center in Bar Harbor, ME on Wednesday, May 11th, 2022.
For more information visit the Maine Nutrition Council Website. You can Register Here. Contact Emily, MNC administrative assistant with questions.
New Resource: Let's Visit a Farm! Al-Paca Bag!
Explore the possibilities of virtual reality in your classroom! Check out this interactive website where you can virtually explore Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm in Unity, ME.
Learn about Alpacas, go on some virtual tours, check out videos of the different alpacas on the farm, find teacher resources, and more!
Erik Wade, MLTI Ambassador at Maine DOE, explains about the website in this video.

Erik will be presenting the project at the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Saratoga this June.
Harvest of the Month - April is Maine Dairy!
Check out our Dairy Resource Page for lessons, activities, books, and more!

Click here for the great Harvest of the Month (HOM) materials - posters, fact sheets, recipes, social media promo, and more!

Search the Ag Literacy Curriculum Matrix for even MORE resources!

All of our HOM Resource Pages can be found on our Teach ME site under "Teaching Units"
Webinar Series
Join the New Hampshire Farm to School and the NH School & Youth Garden networks for a webinar series covering a variety of farm to school and school garden topics. Topics include classroom hydroponics, seed saving, school composting, and MORE! View recordings of past webinars and register for upcoming ones.
Back To School Gardens - Apply to be a part of the program!
Have you been following along with our articles about Back to School Gardens and are you longing for one of your own?!
Apply today to be a part of the BTSG program!
More info on the Back to School Garden Program:
Funding Opportunities!
The 2022 Fuel Up to Play 60 Funding Application is open! Schools can apply for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity funding between now and Wednesday, April 13th. Up to $4,000 in funding, including school-nutrition-focused equipment, are available to qualified K-12 schools enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60 to jump-start healthy changes from the Fuel Up to Play 60 Playbook. Click here for more information. If you have any questions, please reach out to Katie Hoffman at the Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council, she can even review applications before they’re submitted!
The White-Reinhardt Grant Program funds projects that will increase agricultural literacy. 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. Organizations and individual schools can work with their local Farm Bureaus to apply. Grants are available on a competitive basis.
Applications are due by April 15th!!!
Applications are open for Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)'s Russel Libby Agricultural Scholar Awards!
Three $1,500 scholarships are awarded each year in the following categories:
  • MOFGA Journeyperson Program participant
  • Maine high school senior planning to study sustainable or organic farming (preference for colleges in Maine)
  • Teacher, school or education center looking to support an agricultural related project in Maine, such as a campus garden, classroom project or a guest lecturer.
Application deadline is April 15th! Learn more and apply by visiting their website.
Teacher Resources Section
Milk Matters. Grades PreK-6. Students will make ice cream or butter so they can observe the process of the liquid changing to a solid.

Understanding MyPlate. Grades K-2. Students explore appropriate serving sizes and learn how to make healthy dietary decisions by understanding the components of nutrition as illustrated by MyPlate.

Cheesemaking: From Liquid to Solid. Grades 3-5. Students make fresh mozzarella cheese and discover the science (changing a liquid to a solid), art, and craft involved in the development of specialty cheese.

Science You Can Eat. Grades 6-8. Students explore the scientific processes used to make the crops we grow and the livestock we raise (commodities) into some of the foods we eat every day. Students will discover how science and technology work together to create foods like pickles, bread, yogurt and more! To engage further in the topic, students will make their own cheese using enzymes produced through the fermentation of genetically engineered yeast.

Cheesemaking: A Science, an Art, and a Craft. Grades 6-8. Students make fresh mozzarella cheese and explore a career as an artisan cheesemaker as they discover the science, art, and craft involved in the development of specialty cheeses.

Mastering Mindful Eating. Grades 6-8. Grades 9-12. Students will explore hunger, satiety, and mindful eating to discover how our eating habits are impacted by our awareness to physiological signals of hunger or fullness. Students will also practice mindful eating practices and explore portion sizes as they sort foods, create meals using portion-size food models, and track their food using mindful eating practices.

Say Cheese for Protein. Grades 9-12. Explore protein, discover the role of amino acids, identify dietary sources of complete and incomplete proteins, and make fresh mozzarella cheese—a food science experience where students will observe the protein in milk (whey and casein) separate from water in the creation of cheese.

Enzymes and Bacteria are Whey Cool! Grades 9-12. Students study the science of amino acids, proteins, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria to explore the phenomena, "Why does each variety of cheese taste different when the ingredients are the same?"

Looking for more? Explore the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix HERE
Activities & Resources
Mozzarella Cheese Kit. Making mozzarella cheese in the classroom can provide an engaging opportunity to discuss food processing, the science of enzymes and proteins, careers, and more. This kit includes rennet (enzymes), and citric acid (acid), two of the components used in the cheesemaking process. Order this kit online.

Biotech Cheese Kit. Make cheese in your classroom using the same fast methods as industry. This kit includes the recipe to make cheese (also available to download), cheesecloth, and two different types of rennet - one from an organic animal source and one from a genetically modified yeast source. You add water, powdered milk, and buttermilk. This is a great activity for exploring enzymes and chemistry as well as the benefits and concerns surrounding genetic modification. Order this kit online.

Food Science in a Box. This kit is designed to support various forms of homeschool, virtual learning, and online classes by providing ready-to-use supplies to facilitate hands-on learning and discovery. The kit contains materials for one student to complete a variety of activities found in several lessons. Learn more here.

Say Cheese! A Kid's Guide to Cheese Making. A mother-daughter team bring easy cheese making right into your kitchen with this fun guide for kids and families. Step-by-step photos take kids ages 8–12 through the cheese making process, then teach them how to make 12 classic favorites, including mozzarella, feta, ricotta, and cream cheese. A hearty helping of kitchen chemistry and math along with bits of international cheese making history add to the education. 

Hilmar Cheese Company Virtual Video Tour. 10-minute video for elementary students to learn about the dairy industry. They visit the dairy farm and the processing plant where they learn about pasteurization and cheese making.

Food Group Puzzle. This activity can be a supplement to any nutrition lesson. Students will complete puzzles by matching food groups to the nutrients the food group provides and examples of foods within the food group. A digital and paper version is included.

Portion Size Comparison. This activity can supplement any nutrition lesson. Students will identify portion sizes for food and compare them with common every-day items through a "Grab Bag" activity.
Maple Curriculum Support: Tapping into Maple Tradition - Lessons for K-12 Classrooms.

Looking for field trips? Check out Get Real Get Maine's Food, Farms, and Forest Search

ReTreeUS plants orchards in schools and provides educational programs that empower people to be healthy environmental stewards.

See the Maine Farm to School Census here. Are you participating?

Maine School Garden Network provides resources and technical assistance for all school gardens across Maine!

Search the National Ag in the Classroom Curriculum Matrix for resources

Fuel Up to Play 60 offers educators a wide array of resources they can use to help students make sustainable changes in their school environment.

Agroworld is an agricultural science e-zine developed for the secondary educator.

KidsGardening has ideas about plants and gardens, teacher resources, and grant opportunities.

The Chop Chop magazine and website has easy and healthy recipes.

American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has curriculum, games, and resources available for educators and students.

This document is a compilation of agriculture related resources to be used in virtual and remote learning.

Pictures, videos, and words are hyperlinked throughout the document.
Funding from this plate has impacted up to 200,000 students annually with lessons, materials, volunteers and teacher training. Annually up to $60K is distributed in grants to schools, FFA, 4-H and other Non-profit programs for Ag education initiatives by the Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Council.
Donate today to The Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Association
The Non-profit, completely volunteer, portion of MAITC. These funds are used directly to support teacher scholarships and recognition, and support volunteer participation for Ag education programs. Your donation is completely tax deductible and you can make a one-time donation or a recurring monthly donation which will support the mission, "to promote the understanding of agriculture and natural resources among students, educators, and the general public." If you have any other questions or would like to join this group please contact the chairman, Maryjane StaffordDonate Here.
Our Mission Statement
"To promote the understanding of agriculture and natural resources among students, educators, and the general public"  
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