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Monthly news & updates
June 2022 | Issue #129
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IPM Investigations Program
Maine Agriculture in the Classroom is pleased to announce that the Classroom Integrated Pest Management Program will be continued during the school year 2022-23! Many thanks to the Agricultural License Plate and Davis Family Foundation for their support of this fantastic and successful program!

During school years 2020-21, 2021-22, and now 2022-23 retired educator, Bernie Welch, has shared his passion for low impact pest control and awareness about good bugs in school gardens and the environment in general. Students from grades K-12 are treated to an in-depth look at the insects and habitat right on their school grounds. Each participating school receives a kit full of tools to use plus access to a tremendous network of resources.

This program encourages students to explore and observe garden insects. Students use simple capture and identify devices, sketch insects in journals and attempt to identify them using provided insect garden keys. Students discuss findings and gain understanding in how such data can be useful for the school garden. More importantly students take these new skills home to use in their own garden! Although there is a focus on scientific method, garden record keeping and gaining insect habitat knowledge, there are plenty of healthy garden conversations that ensue along the way with healthy food and local food conversations an important part of the mix.

MAITC is now accepting registrations for up to 10 K-12 schools for fall 2022 and spring 2023. Both of the previous sessions have been full and we encourage schools to register early by filling out this google form.
A Boy and His Corn
This past winter, Darcy Johnston, educator in RSU 3, used the Living Necklaces lesson and kit with her students at Morse Memorial School in Brooks, ME.

One of her students took it upon himself to keep his corn seed alive. He has been transplanting his corn all winter and into the spring, and now it stands taller than he is!

Check out the Living Necklace Kit on the Ag Literacy Curriculum Matrix!
UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Building Agricultural Literacy Through an Immersive Culinary Experience Grant Update 
The griddles and ovens are now turned off at the UMaine Food Pilot Plant and Commercial Kitchen but the scents linger from the first Local Food Competition for CTE Culinary Arts Programs. On April 28, seven teams from five Maine Career & Technical Education High School Culinary Arts Programs competed to demonstrate their skills in preparing local, seasonal Maine foods. The emphasis on Maine grown and processed food helps students better understand agricultural literacy and gain knowledge about the role that the food industry can play in supporting Maine agriculture. 

First Place - Region Two School of Applied Technology
Brody McLaughlin and Nicholas Hardy who created pasta made from scratch with meatballs and sauce, served with a fresh salad.

Second Place - Capital Area Technical Center in Augusta
Emma Baker and Kamy Dube
Maple Mustard glazed Salmon, carrot and parsnip mash, mushroom farrotto

Third Place - Northern Penobscot Tech Region III in Lincoln
Connor Ham and Jace Bonner
Stir fried Farro with Pan seared Salmon

Other Teams:
Region 9 School of Applied Technology
Kyra Rose-Espinoza
Whole grain buttermilk biscuits, chorizo gravy, baked apples and blueberries

Capital Area Technical Center
Shyann Miller and Isaac Andrews
Pan seared Salmon, goat cheese farrotto, blueberry gastrique, roasted radishes

Coastal Washington County Institute of Technology
Nathan White and Dustin Taylor
Pan seared Salmon with radish salsa, roasted potatoes, and honey glaze

Northern Penobscot Tech Region III
Michaela Woodward and Nickolas Bersch
Maple glazed apple stuffed pork tenderloin with roasted root vegetables

At the end of the day everyone was astounded by the level of culinary excellence achieved! These high school students performed on par with much higher level culinary students.
Congratulations to ALL! See you next year!
Maine Farm and Sea to School

The Maine Farm to School Network has a new look with updated branding and website!
The institute has it's own page on the website, check it out!
Harvest of the Month - June is Maine Leafy Greens!
Check out our Leafy Greens 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"
Summer Garden Tours!
This summer, Maine School Garden Network will be supporting school garden tours across the state. This idea stemmed in the School Garden Exchange google group (join here if you're not already in the group!) in hopes it becomes a Maine school garden tradition! Join in for a casual gathering with peers, see different gardening styles and come together for a potluck meal!
The first will be hosted by Justin Deri and Rachel Solomon at Falmouth School Gardens on Thursday June 23rd at 4pm.
Please email Rachel at if you plan on attending or would like to host a gathering at your site in the future! 
School Garden Grown
Fair season is coming and we are ramping up to display School Garden Grown produce in exhibit halls across the state! We are looking for representation from as many Maine school gardens as possible in the exhibit halls! Not only can this be a great opportunity to show all the work being done with your students across Maine, participating at your local fair can give your students a sense of pride to be a part of the Maine agricultural community and a chance to win cash prizes! 
MSGN Program Organizer, Rachel Solomon, can offer you support as you navigate the process by providing information from your county’s fair book on rules for entering and when to submit entry forms. Click here for more information on the process. Please reach out to Rachel as soon as possible at if you plan to participate or have any questions. We can’t wait to see you at the fair!
Grant Opportunities!
Looking for funding for your agriculture curriculum project, FFA chapter, or school garden? Apply for a grant from Maine Agriculture in the Classroom! Visit our website for applications and more information. The deadline for Ag Leadership and Statewide Ag Organization grants is June 14th! Ag Awareness and School Garden and Greenhouse grant applications are due August 22nd!

The purpose of these grants is to provide funds to educators to enable them to purchase accurate agricultural literacy materials from the AFBFA store for use in their classrooms. By providing this grant, AFBFA hopes to help students gain access to more accurate information about agriculture. Applications are due June 30, 2022. All applicants will receive notification by July 16, 2022.
Teacher Resources Section
Eating Plants. Grades K-2. Students identify the structure and function of six plant parts and classify fruits and vegetables according to which parts of the plants are edible.

Magic Beans and Giant Plants. Grades 3-5. Students plant seeds, make considerations about which conditions affect plant growth, design and conduct experiments using a problem-solving process, and compare and contrast to understand the parameters which influence the health and growth of living things.

DNA: Expressions in Agriculture. Grades 6-8. This lesson centers around the activity of extracting DNA from a strawberry while highlighting careers in biotechnology and agriculture.

Strawberry Breeding and Genetics. Grades 9-12. Students learn about DNA by extracting it from strawberries. Students also analyze the similarities and differences of their extraction process to those on Genetic Engineering: The Journey of a Gene. Students learn how genetic testing (including DNA extraction) is useful in breeding new varieties of strawberries.

Looking for more? Explore the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix HERE
Activities & Resources
Summer Planting for Fall Harvest. Smartly-planned summer planting yields a bounty of fall harvest vegetables, flowers, and herbs for your market stand, kitchen table, or root cellar. Check out what Johnny's Selected Seeds recommends for varieties to extend your harvest window into the fall.

Discovery Dairy Adopt a Cow Program. Looking for a classroom pet? How about adopting a COW?! The Discover Dairy “Adopt a Cow” program is an exciting, year-long experience for your classroom. Throughout the program, you’ll get an inside look at dairy farming and be paired with a calf from a dairy farm in the United States. You’ll find out what her name is, when her birthday is, where she lives, and how the farmer takes care of her. You’ll also receive progress updates, photos of the cow, live chats from the farm, activity sheets for your students, suggested lessons that follow Common CORE standards, and even opportunities to write letters to your calf! And the best part? It is completely FREE!

Strawberry Ag Mag. The Strawberry Ag Mag was written for elementary and middle school students. In this issue, students learn about the history of the strawberry, hybridization, the life cycle and anatomy of the strawberry plant, careers, and more. The reader can be viewed by students electronically on individual devices, as a class with a projector, or printed.

Strawberry DNA Necklace. This kit allows students to take home visible proof that plants have DNA. Each kit contains enough supplies for 100 students to make their own DNA necklace. The kit contains cheesecloth, funnels, pipettes, test tubes, flasks, microcentrifuge tubes, and yarn, all in a sturdy plastic storage container. Refill kits are also available. Order this kit online from
Maple Curriculum Support: Tapping into Maple Tradition - Lessons for K-12 Classrooms.

Looking for field trips? Check out Real 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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