New York Agriculture in the Classroom | January 2018
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Important Dates:

Jan. 5 - Arbor Day Poster Contest Submissions Due

Jan. 26- Top Cut Beef Contest Submissions Due

Feb. 14- Schoolyard Sugaring Registrations Due

March 15- FoodCorps Applications Due

March 19-23 - Agricultural Literacy Week

July 11-14- National Children & Youth Garden Symposium

Happy New Year from New York Agriculture in the Classroom!
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.
Agricultural Literacy Week
Mark your calendars for Agricultural Literacy Week: March 19th-23rd. In celebration of New York agriculture, volunteers throughout the state will read a book with an agricultural theme to second graders. Students and teachers will also benefit from hands-on lessons and receive follow up activities. 

The book will be donated to the school or classroom library, with over 2,000 books donated last year. If you're interested in becoming a literacy volunteer or would like to have a literacy volunteer visit your classroom, please visit our website for more information. 
American Horticultural Society National Children and Youth Gardening Symposium
Save the date for this one of a kind national event where you can network with like-minded teachers, garden designers, community leaders, program coordinators, and others involved with connecting kids to the natural world.  

NCYGS 2018 attendees will have the opportunity to e xplore topics ranging from curriculum to program management to garden design and maintenance during four dynamic days of educational sessions, field trips, and expert keynote presentations. Learn more about this opportunity on the NCYGS event page

Webinar: STEM on Stage and Supporting Dual-Language Learners
Tune in on January 17th at 4pm to hear from expert presenters about tackling two of STEM's hardest challenges: Meaningful integration with the creative arts and language and literacy-rich STEM experiences for young dual-language learners.

Cindy Hoisington from EDC will describe an EDC program in Hartford, Connecticut that promotes integrated science and language experiences for young students learning English as a second language. Get more information and register here

#ServeUpChange with FoodCorps
Do you want to serve your community by growing healthier kids, healthier schools, and a more just world?FoodCorps is looking for people like you for a paid, full-time year of service. Experience hands-on learning, healthy school meals, and a school wide culture of health. Applications are  open through March 15 to become a FoodCorps service member.
FFA Contest Judges and Coordinators Needed
The New York State FFA Convention will be held in Rochester, NY this May and they are looking for contest judges for their career and leadership focused competitions. If you are interested in volunteering, the link can be found on the right side bar on the  State Convention page and is called "Judge FFA Contests".
Do you want to be more involved in competitions? Are you looking for a new way to support New York FFA? Become a CDE Coordinator! Email Catie Rowe  for more information about coordinating contests.

Teacher Resources
Dwarf "Space Plant" Seeds
The USU Crop Physiology Laboratory has identified and characterized six varieties of dwarf crop plants. These short, early-flowering plants are ideal for growth on the International Space Station (and also in classrooms!) where there isn't room to grow full-size crops or where light is limiting. Fixtures with compact fluorescent bulbs and/or fluorescent tubes placed directly above the plants will provide adequate light for these cultivars. Many lessons can be built around these plants. Find available seeds here

Color in the Garden
This lesson integrates the art concept of color with science and soils in a garden setting. Students will use the art of soil painting to explore science and the natural world while learning about the color wheel, the importance of soil to agriculture, and why soils have different colors. This lesson is best for grades 3-5. 
Fruits of Our Labor
Students will discover how fresh fruits can be dried and preserved by participating in an activity where they make raisins by drying grapes. This lesson can also be used to introduce seasonality of fruits and vegetables. This lesson is best for younger students in grades K-2. 
Middle School/ High School
Fueling Up for a Career in Biofuel
Students will recognize the importance of fuel energy and the fact that agriculture can produce biofuel. Students will also identify career opportunities in the biofuel industry in  this lesson . Grades 6-8 will benefit the most from this lesson. 
Photoperiod Phenomenas
Students will understand how photoperiodism impacts plants and animals in the environment and learn how egg farms use this science to manage the production of eggs by their hens. This lesson is best for grades 9-12.
"Martian" Food Video
Show your students a neat application of hydroponics and climate controlled greenhouses with this video teaching about the NASA-funded research taking place at the University of Arizona. The goal of this research is to discover a successful method for food to be grown in space.
January Book Nook
Sleep Tight Farm
Learn how a family gets a farm ready for the snow of winter,  Sleep Tight Farm  lyrically connects each growing season to the preparations at the very end of the farm year. See what winter means to the farm year and to the family that shares its seasons, from spring's new growth, summer's heat, and fall's bounty to winter's well-earned rest. All year long the farm has worked to shelter us, feed us, keep us warm, and now it's time to sleep. This book by Eugenie Doyle and illustrated by Becca Stadtlander is best for students in Pre-school to grade 2. 

First Peas to the Table
A fun work of fiction in which a girl competes in a classroom garden competition to see who can get the 'first peas to the table.' Based on the contest that Thomas Jefferson held with his friends and neighbors every year, this book seamlessly integrates school gardens, history, botany, and seasonal weather themes into one fun-to-read book. Teachers may even consider modeling a classroom science project after the one featured in this book by Susan Grigsby. 
A Pocketful of Goobers
There wasn't anything that George Washington Carver couldn't grow. He took the common goober--today's peanut--and created hundreds of useful products from it, turning goobers into a very profitable staple for the South. At the same time, this very special man passed on to everyone who knew him the importance of following one's own dreams.A Pocketful of Goobers by author Barbara Mitchell teaches about the scientific efforts of George Washington Carver. Learn about his life and about his production of more than 300 uses for the peanut. 
New York Agriculture in the Classroom |
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Cornell University
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