New York Agriculture in the Classroom | December 2020
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Important Dates:

Dec. 22- Christmas Tree Virtual Field Trip

Jan. 6- Commodity Icon Art Contest Submissions Due

March 15-19- Agricultural Literacy Week 2021

June 28- July 1- NAITCO Conference 
Christmas Tree Farm Virtual Field Trip
Join New York Agriculture in the Classroom on Tuesday, December 22 for a virtual field trip to Springside Farm's Christmas tree operation 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 harvest, shake, and wrap a Christmas tree. Students will also learn how a Christmas wreath is produced. There will be a live Q&A session to allow our farmers to answer students questions. On the 22nd, there will be three field trip experiences with space limited to 15 schools per experience. To participate, your classroom must be from New York State and have at least 15 students participating. Learn more on our Virtual Field Trips page
2021 Teacher of the Year Announced!
Each year, New York Agriculture in the Classroom recognizes exceptional teachers who teach through the lens of agriculture.

We are pleased to announce Patricia Eshelman from Bolivar Richburg Central School as our 2021 Teacher of the Year recipient. 

Patricia Eshelman is a model educator who incorporates agriculture as a platform for learning in her biology and agriculture classrooms. She is passionate about helping students recognize that they participate with agriculture daily. To do this, Patricia gives them a basic knowledge and understanding of agriculture concepts that they will be able to apply throughout their lives. 

For her excellence in teaching about and utilizing agriculture in her classroom, Patricia will have the opportunity to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Des Moines, Iowa in June and an at-school recognition of her accomplishments.  

Learn more about this exceptional educator and the Teacher of the Year program on our website.
Art Contest
Calling all artists! New York Agriculture in the Classroom is searching for talented young artists from across New York State who are interested in helping us create a new statewide agricultural commodities map. 
Our digital commodity map will be an agricultural literacy resource designed to help students and teachers more fully learn about the robust and expansive food and fiber systems found in New York State. To participate, you must be a NYS student in grades 3-12. The winning artist will win a framed commodity map, a $100 gift card, their art displayed at The Great New York State Fair, an awards presentation at school, and more! The sponsoring teacher will also earn one aeroponic Tower Garden for their classroom. All participants will have a chance to have their art selected for display in our Student Commodity Art Show at View Arts in Old Forge, NY. Visit our website to learn more and submit artwork by January 8, 2021
Teacher Resources
Elementary Resources
Four Seasons on a Farm
In this new lesson, students identify the characteristics of the four seasons of the year, investigate what causes seasons, and observe the affects changing seasons have on farms.
This lesson is composed of six learning activities to teach about the Christmas tree. Science, history, and geography topics are used to explore the history of the Christmas tree, life cycle of a conifer, types of trees and how they adapt, work on a Christmas tree farm, and the ecology of conifer trees. You can combine this K-2 and 3-5 lesson with the Value-adding on a Christmas Tree Farm activity or the Christmas Tree - How Does it Grow? video. 
Eggs: Protein MVP
Students will explore the importance of protein to a healthy diet and discover that eggs are a nutritious protein source in this lesson. This lesson can be paired with the Virtual Egg Farm Field Trips for a visual experience. 
From Wool to Wheel
Students will investigate the importance of wool in colonial America and compare and contrast the differences between processing wool then and now. In this lesson students will spin, weave, and dye wool and watch videos illustrating how wool was processed in colonial times and how it is processed today. 
Middle School/ High School Resources
Agritourism: Extreme Farm Makeover
Through this group project-based learning opportunity, students will work to design an agritourism experience that will increase profits for a family-owned farm and provide agricultural literacy opportunities for community members.

In this lesson students will work in teams to create a flavorful and nutritious meal for astronauts to eat in space. Students will learn about careers in food and nutrition, food science, and marketing. For a successful mission, students will research different ways to preserve foods, and discover how food is taken to and eaten in space to ensure astronauts are well feed. 
Fast-Food Footwork
In this lesson, students will explore how retail foodservice establishments ensure that food is safely stored, prepared, and served. Through inquiry based learning, they will also learn about local health regulations and how the 4 Cs of Food Safety apply to all aspects of foodservice.
Agricultural Production Regions in the United States
Students will investigate US crop and livestock production and analyze the relevance of land use models in contemporary agricultural production in this lesson
December Book Nook
Christmas Farm
When Wilma decides her garden needs a new beginning, she gathers all her supplies and sixty-two dozen balsam seedlings to start a Christmas tree farm. Follow Wilma and Parker, her five-year-old neighbor, year after year as they nurture their trees, keeping careful count of how many they plant, how many perish, and how many grow to become fine, full Christmas trees. A great holiday read-aloud for the month of December.
Ode to an Onion
A poetic, beautifully illustrated picture book inspired by 
Ode to the Onion by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904-1973). Pablo has a lunch date with his friend Matilde, who shows the moody poet her garden. Where Pablo sees conflict and sadness, Matilde sees love and hope. The story is a simple ode to a vegetable that is humble and luminous, dark and light, gloomy and glad, full of grief and full of joy-just like life.

Pie in the Sky
Do pies grow on trees? Join a father and child as they watch over their backyard cherry tree-and all the colorful living things surrounding it-throughout the seasons. At the end of the summer, they harvest the cherries together and make a delicious pie for the whole family to enjoy. This book can also be paired with the TART Cherry on Top lesson for a more in-depth learning experience. 

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