New York Agriculture in the Classroom | February 2018
Stay Up To Date!
Want to stay up to date with NYAITC? Follow us on social media and never miss out on exciting news and opportunities!
Find us on Social Media!
Are you incorporating agriculture into your classroom? We want to see, tag us on social media @NewYorkAITC on Twitter and NYAITC on Facebook. 

Give us a follow at @nyagintheclassroom on Instagram and see what's happening across the state in classrooms just like yours.
Important Dates:

February- Black History Month

Feb. 14- Schoolyard Sugaring Registrations Due

March 2- CHS Scholarship Applications Due

March 17/18 & 24/25- Maple Weekend

March 19-23 - Agricultural Literacy Week

Schoolyard Sugaring: A Maple Syrup Contest
Registration is Open!
Registration is now open for the second annual Schoolyard Sugaring Maple Syrup Contest! 

Students will experience the process of collecting sap, learn the steps to boiling the sap into maple syrup, and submit their product for judging against other schools. Pre-K through 12th grade classes in New York State are eligible. Multiple classrooms from the same school are eligible. 

For more information, and to register your classroom please visit the Maple Contest page  on our website. All classrooms must be registered by February 14, 2018.
Celebrate Black History Month with Agriculture
February is Black History Month and we use the month to remember the important contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout our nation's history. The celebration can be felt nationally and worldwide as many organizations, cities, and states host events that educate on the rich culture, and memorable figures of African American history. 

Consider adding influential African American influential agriculturalists to your lesson plan this month. You can find more information and lessons plans for Black History Month on our website
Maple Weekend
During Maple Weekend maple farms across New York State invite visitors to their "sugar houses" to experience firsthand how pure, mouth-watering maple syrup and other related products are made.  Visitors also have the opportunity to enjoy fun, family-friendly activities, taste New York's freshest syrup and purchase maple products. Experience this for yourself at participating maple farms March 17-18 and 24-25. 

Visit to learn more and find a maple farm near you.

CHS Scholarships Available for 2018 NAITC National Conference in Maine
The CHS Foundation for the fifth year is sponsoring teachers from across the nation to attend the 2018 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference 'Agriculture for ME on Land and Sea' in Portland, Maine June 27-29. They are providing $20,000 in scholarships to fund dozens of deserving K-12 teachers. Engaging workshops, traveling workshops, keynote speakers and networking events will provide exceptional learning opportunities for these teachers to increase their comfort level in agricultural topics and also integrate agricultural content into instruction to meet academic standards in Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, Math and Health/Nutrition. If you would like to participate in an engaging professional development experience and connect with educators from across the country, you should consider applying for this scholarship, which covers the cost of early bird registration of $435. All other travel costs are the responsibility of the individual. 

The deadline for applications is Friday March 2, 2018.
Virtual Field Trip Experience
Nutrients for Life in partner ship  with Discovery Education  will host a Virtual Field Trip on Thursday, March 15. Sports start from the ground up... with healthy soil! Join Nick McKenna, assistant field manager at Texas A&M University on a typical day in turf management. Your students will hear directly from Nick and the people he relies on - from soil lab experts to fertilizer specialists - to help keep the Texas A&M sports fields looking great for the fans and safe for the athletes! They will be b roadcasting live from Texas A&M on  Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 1PM ET. Find more information and register here

Teacher of the Year Spotlight
Amy Gosier- Teacher of the Year, Elementary Division
New York Agriculture in the Classroom is pleased to announce the selection of Amy Gosier as our 2018 Elementary Teacher of the Year. Amy will be representing NYAITC as a model educator who incorporates agriculture as a context for learning in her first grade classroom at Ballston Spa Central School District in Ballston Spa, New York. Amy's students have grown to love learning about agriculture and seeing the cross-curricular connections that Amy makes with her extensive lesson plans.
Amy's tenure as an educator has spanned seventeen years, but her love of agriculture began when she was young and has always influenced her curriculum. She recognized the need for agricultural literacy starting at a young age in her suburban school district and had been intermittently including quick lessons about pumpkins, apples, and butter in her curriculum, but wanted to give her students the full experience of following a product from farm to table. Her unit on corn is a model of innovation and inquiry.

Congratulations, Amy!

Teacher Resources
John Deere, That's Who!
Students will explore how producers and consumers work together to meet human needs by using the book  John Deere, That's Who! This lesson can be used to discover food systems or to take a look at different careers. Be sure to check out some of the suggested companion resources and enriching activities because this lesson could lead your classroom in many different discovery adventures. 
Working Worms
Students will observe how earthworms speed the decomposition of organic matter and learn how this adds nutrients to the soil that are important for plant growth. Activities include constructing worm habitats from milk jugs and completing  Ride the Wild Leaf Cycle  activity sheets. This lesson is best suited for students in grades 3-5. 
Terrariums: A Look at the Living and Nonliving World
Students will observe the interactions between living plants and other living and nonliving things in a small terrarium environment. They will also learn about farms and discuss similarities between the terrarium environment and the farm environment. This is a fun activity where 3-5 grade students can make their own indoor terrariums while its still cold and snowy outside. 
Middle School/ High School
Hands Off, Bacteria!
Combat flu season with this lessonThis lab challenges students to identify the variables involved in hand washing. They will design labs to discover the best method for washing their hands to reduce the spread of bacteria. Students will also analyze and present the data. 
Feeding a Digital World: From Farm to Fork
Most Americans are three to four generations removed from the farm, which means they are less likely to have first-hand experience with a farm. Consequently, people are less likely to understand how their food is produced.Using an interest-based approach in teams, students will create a "farm-to-fork" video to educate consumers about where their food comes from. This activity is recommend for students in grades 9-12. 
Global Food Security
What is food security? The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations defines food security as all people, at all times, having physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Using this definition, students will explore the causes of hunger, both domestically and globally; evaluate potential  solutions for solving world hunger; and forecast the impact of a growing world population on  current food supplies. This lesson would be best for students in grades 9-12. 
February Book Nook
Maple Syrup From the Sugarhouse
Maple syrup season is approaching! Read the story of Kelsey and her father as they begin harvesting sap from sugar maple trees. Join her family and friends to learn the process of turning sap into maple syrup. 

If you are participating in Schoolyard Sugaring, consider reading this story to your elementary schoolers or have your middle or high schoolers read to the younger students. 
A Seed is Sleepy
This gorgeous book from award-winning artist Sylvia Long and author Dianna Hutts Aston offers children a beautiful and informative look at the intricate, complex, and often surprising world of seeds. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, the book introduces children to a fascinating array of seed and plant facts, making it perfect reading material at home or in the classroom. 
All in Just One Cookie
This book takes students on a world-wide exploration to find the source of each of the ingredients used to make chocolate chip cookies. "Visit" a dairy farm for the milk to make butter, Madagascar to find vanilla beans, and even a mine for baking soda and salt.
New York Agriculture in the Classroom |
3rd Floor Kennedy Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853