New York Agriculture in the Classroom | December 2022

Registration now open for the annual

Schoolyard Sugaring Contest

From tree to bottle, help your students experience the sweet scientific phenomena of making maple syrup in the Schoolyard Sugaring contest, a cross-curricular project based learning opportunity. Registration for this contest is free to New York educators.

Classrooms can choose to participate in syrup production and/or a maple-focused photography contest. Pre-K through 12th grade classes in New York State, in their respective divisions. Multiple classrooms from the same school are eligible. FFA chapters, home school groups, and private schools are invited to participate.

Any New York K-12 classrooms can participate and earn up to $250 in prize money. Eligible schools will receive a Maple Starter Kit, with a value of $120, to start tapping right away.

Register for the Contest

Register your classroom by February 17, 2023 to participate.


Mac & Cheese Challenge Submissions Due

DEC 19

Christmas Tree

Virtual Field Trip

DEC 22

Top Cut Beef Contest Winners Announced

JAN 17

Grow with Us Applications Due

Christmas Tree Virtual Field Trip

Join New York Agriculture in the Classroom on Monday, December 19 for a virtual field trip to Springside Farm in Fabius, NY! 

During this trip, students will experience a family owned and operated Christmas tree farm in action. Students will learn about Christmas tree farming as our hosts cut down and wrap a Christmas tree. Students will also make a Christmas wreath with our host.

The first 100 classrooms to register will receive a free inquiry box prior to the virtual field trip.

Learn More and Register

Announcing the Grow-NY Youth Competition Winner

New York Agriculture in the Classroom, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and New York 4-H, hosted the second annual Youth Competition during this year’s Grow-NY Food and Agriculture Business Competition. Seven youth participants presented their innovative business pitches to a panel of judges for a chance to win a $2,000 prize to invest in their enterprise. Selected based on a competitive proposal process, the next generation of business developers, agriculture, food, and technology leaders engaged in this unique program. 

Faith Baker of Cincinnatus, NY was named as this year’s winner for her creative idea of leasing her herd of Kunekunes, a small breed of domestic pig from New Zealand, to solar farms helping to clean up unruly grass and weeds around its solar panels for a more sustainable option to traditional methods. 

Learn More about the Contest

NYAAC Cows for the Classroom

The New York Animal Agriculture Coalition (NYAAC) wants to help support the learning of New York middle and high school-age students by providing them with this FUN and UNIQUE opportunity! They are offering two life-size ceramic dairy cows and funding for classroom use. 

Dairy farming is one of New York's largest employers, with countless career opportunities for young minds that stretch beyond the barnyard. Students interested in computer science, engineering, social media, environmental science, animal care, food production, and so much more have a place in animal agriculture. To promote learning about dairy, NYAAC will be provide two different schools with a life-size ceramic cow and a $500 stipend for the spring semester.

The application deadline is December 16, 2022.

Apply Now

Apply for the Grow with Us Grant

To connect students with growing food in schools, New York Agriculture in the Classroom is again awarding grow systems through the Grow With Us Grant. 

The Grow with Us Grant allows schools to apply for two types of grow systems. Schools should apply for the grow system that would best meet their educational goals, classroom space needs, and consider their experience level in school gardening and curriculum integration. 

NYAITC aspires to provide teachers the vehicle and tools to facilitate experiential-learning using agriculture as the context for learning. To achieve this goal, schools are eligible to earn either a bundle of three Tower Gardens or 3 Tier 2445 Organics SuperGrow System.

Apply for a Grow System

Applications are open now on our website and due Tuesday, January 17, 2023.

Featured Lessons

Grades K-2

Discover Christmas Trees

In this lesson, students explore the history of the Christmas tree, explain the life cycle of a conifer, identify types of trees and how they adapt, discover what it's like to work on a Christmas tree farm, and examine the ecology of conifer trees.

 Teach this Lesson 

Grades 3-5

Cultures, Food, and Communities Around the World

Students will explore different cultures around the world, compare worldwide communities with local communities, and explain the interrelationship between the environment and community development.

Teach this Lesson

Grades 9-12

A Closer Look at Fats

This lesson describes the role of fats in food and in the body, and how they serve as a source of energy. It provides information on different types of fats that are listed on the Nutrition Facts label – including total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat—and defines trans fat and cholesterol. The lesson also includes dietary guidance for fat consumption.

Teach this Lesson

December Book Nook

Feasts and Festivals Around the World

Explore the celebrations and feasts of twelve countries and cultures from around the world! From South Korea to Nigeria to the USA, come celebrate festivals throughout the year! People around the world are celebrating. In Australia, it's Christmas in summer with barbecues on the beach. In Thailand, they're celebrating Songkran, the famous Buddhist water festival. Rhyming text and graphic illustrations pair perfectly and invite young readers to explore the world through mesmerizing festivals.

Read this Book

Zee Grows a Tree

On the morning little Zee Cooper is born, a Douglas-fir seedling emerges from the nursery bed at her family's Christmas tree farm. As Zee and the tree grow up together, they experience many of the same milestones. And as the years go on, Zee takes loving care of her tree, watering it through heat waves and protecting it from winter winds. Combining interesting details about how trees are grown and cared for on a farm with the sweet story of a friendship between a girl and her special tree, Zee Grows a Tree offers a blend of fiction and nonfiction that will draw the interest of young nature lovers everywhere. 

Read this Book

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