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

March 6Agricultural Literacy Grant Round 2 Applications Due

March 16-20- Agricultural Literacy Week

March 20Agricultural Literacy Grant Round 3 pplications Due

April 3- Agricultural Literacy Grant Round 4 Applications Due

May 7Beef Farm Virtual Field Trip

June 23-26- National AITC Conference 
New York Teacher Wins National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award 
The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Farm Credit partner each year to honor teachers in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade from around the country for the innovative ways they use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies, STEM, and more with the National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award. 

Jeremiah Best, 5th grade teacher at Town of Webb UFSD in Old Forge, New York, is recognized for this prestigious award. Jeremiah Best embraces a school and community garden as a way to assist in the mental health crisis impacting their small community. He strengthens his student's critical thinking skills by developing biomass fertilizer using compost, prevention devices to keep wildlife out of the garden and a Bluetooth automated drip irrigation system. Best will be honored at the 2020 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jeremiah Best is also the recipient of the New York Agriculture in the Classroom's 2020 Teacher of the Year Award and is very active in NYAITC programs, including the Schoolyard Sugaring Contest, Grow with Us Grant, and more. Congratulations, Jeremiah!
2020 to 2050 Vision for Agricultural Education
The New York Educational Outreach Team will be hosting five regional visioning meetings around the state to help chart the path for agricultural education, Agriculture in the Classroom and FFA in the state of New York. We would like teachers, administrators, stakeholders and community members to attend.  Please make sure you register by 3/6/2020 via this link

If you have any questions or would like more information, please reach out to a  New York Educational Outreach team member. 
Locations include: Poughkeepsie, Tully, Schuylerville, Castile, and Canton. 
Agricultural Literacy Week
Agricultural Literacy Week is almost here! The week of March 16-20, 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. A copy of  Right This Very Minute  will be donated to the school or classroom library with a bookplate recognizing the donor and New York Agricultural Literacy Week. 2,500 books were donated last year while thousands of second graders participated in fun and educational activities. Visit our  website  to find out how you can get involved!
Fund your Creative Projects-  Apply for an Agricultural Literacy Grant!
The Agricultural Literacy Grant was created  to help fund your most creative
ideas to teach through a lens of agriculture. Submit your great idea to enhance your classroom learning and let New York Agriculture in the Classroom support your endeavor to include agriculture as a context for learning.

A n Agricultural Literacy Grant proposal can be anywhere between $10 to a maximum of $1,200. Proposals for the Agricultural Literacy Grant can include, but are not limited to: funding for farm field trips, purchasing agriculturally accurate books, materials for classroom projects, s tarting a courtyard chicken coop, and expanding your school garden project, and more. 

Grant proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis starting February 21, 2020 until  Friday, April 3 and submissions will be reviewed every two weeks. Find more information and the application  here
Take a Virtual Field Trip to a New York Beef Farm
Two virtual field trips for elementary classrooms will virtually transport students to a beef farm and share how beef is grown and cared for in New York.  Students will chat directly with a farmer and experts during live Q&A sessions during the trips.  Join us on a tour of O'Mara Farms to learn about the beef lifecycle, cattle care, and environmental stewardship practices on their farm. These trips will be offered on Thursday, May 7 at 9am and 10:30am for grades K-5. 

This will be the same Virtual Field Trip that we hosted in the fall of 2019. If you participated in the Fall 2019 field trip you shouldn't register for this experience. Visit our  website to learn more or  register here
2020-2021 New York State Farm to School Institute  Call for Applications
The NYS Farm to School Institute is in its second year and is now accepting applications for their 2020-2021 school teams!  The 2020 - 2021 NYS Farm to School Institute offers a comprehensive learning opportunity for food service staff, educators, administrators, and community partners in New York schools to develop and refine their Farm to School programs, and to help bring more New York grown food into the cafeteria and the classroom. This state-specific Institute is an annual year-long training and continuing education program. Ten New York school teams will participate in a three-day Summer Retreat at the Omega Institute (Rhinebeck, NY) to kick-off the year followed by a one-day Spring Celebration in the Hudson Valley. For more information, please visit their website
Serve Up Change 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! As a FoodCorps service member, you can help kids learn what healthy food is, fall in love with it, and eat it every day. FoodCorps recruits talented leaders for a year of full time paid public service building healthy school food environments in limited-resource communities.  Applications are open January 10- March 13 to become a FoodCorps service member. 
Junior Iron Chef Competition
Bassett Healthcare Junior Iron Chef Competition is coming!  Registration is open for the 7th annual Junior Iron Chef (JIC) Competition on Saturday, March 28 at SUNY Cobleskill. Teams of 3-4 student chefs will compete in middle and high school divisions.  The competition is open to teams from Otsego, Delaware, Schoharie, Montgomery, Madison, Fulton, Herkimer, Oneida, and Chenango counties. The JIC is a fun competition to create and prepare tasty, healthy recipes that might be prepared and served in a school cafeteria. Register and learn more at  their website
Agricultural Literacy Grant Spotlight
George Rogers- Malone Middle School
"Grit Untapped Maple Syrup Project"

Five years ago, the STEAM program was formed at Malone Middle School. They complete a number of big projects throughout the year, but their biggest project of the year is their "Grit Untapped Maple Syrup Project".  This student-run operation goes to work for three weeks each spring as their students produce, bottle, market, and sell maple syrup from the maple trees on campus. Students apply for positions of Boiling Crew, Media Marketing, Data Collection and Analysis, Newsroom, Candies and Confections, Drawing and Design, Research and Development/Field Office Investigations, and CEO and then are "hired" to work for the different divisions of Grit Untapped Maple Company. 
This is a huge, on-going student-run project. After working on this every spring for the last five school years, Mr. Rogers recognized the need to teach students the most professional practices that are the industry standard.  Many of his students finish this project and aspire to open an operation of their own or to go to work for one of the many existing large-scale sugaring operations in the area. Teaching them to produce the highest quality maple products will better prepare them for future employment and help them better appreciate the care required to produce all agricultural produces. 
In order to do this, Malone Middle School will use their Agricultural Literacy Grant to purchase a two-cone filter tank that will ensure their syrup is perfectly filtered, a simple reverse osmosis machine to increase production and save fuel, and digital thermometers and candy molds for the Candies and Confections division of their student-run business. These improvements will aid students in learning for years to come and will prepare them with multi-disciplinary real-world knowledge involving science, technology, art, ELA, Math and Social Studies.

Learn more about the Agricultural Literacy Grant and view the other recipients on our  website
Teacher Resources
Elementary Resources
Hatching Science with Classroom Chicks
Students will explore how an embryo develops inside of a chicken egg over time, discuss life cycles and other natural cycles, and observe similarities and differences between parents and offspring in this lesson
From Sap to Syrup
In this lesson, students will recognize how geography and climate allow for the growth of maple trees and the process of making syrup. They will identify the characteristics of maple trees that produce the best sap for making maple syrup and name the steps in the process of creating syrup from sap.
Sheep See, Sheep Do
Students will explore the difference between inherited and acquired traits and understand why knowledge of inherited and acquired traits is important to agriculture in this lesson. Activities in this lesson include trait sorting, two short movies, a PTC taste-test, and student presentations.
In this lesson, s tudents will understand that the diversity of life in soil contributes to soil fertility by investigating the properties of soil and conducting experiments. 
Middle School/ High School Resources
In this lesson, students will explore the connection between individual behavior and resource use, learn the difference between renewable and nonrenewable resources, and identify careers related to natural resource management by playing an active, futuristic game in which teams have to collect limited resources from "Planet Zorcon."
Hands Off, Bacteria!
This  lab  challenges students to identify the variables involved in handwashing. 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.

Mystery Juice
Using an inquiry approach, students will develop an investigation to determine the difference between two juices in this lesson. Food safety will be discussed in relation to the results of the investigations. Students will have the opportunity to discover how pasteurization reduces the number of microorganisms in a food such as juice.
While many view genetically modified crops as a promising innovation, there is controversy about their use. This lesson provides students with a brief overview of the technology, equipping them with the ability to evaluate the social, environmental, and economic arguments for and against genetically modified crops.
March Book Nook
When Patrick wakes up for breakfast, he finds an adventure in his kitchen. As his dad cooks him breakfast, he learns where each breakfast food item is produced. The chicken lays the eggs, the cow produces the milk and the maple tree makes the syrup. This book is a great resource for teaching elementary students where their food comes from.
A Green, Green Garden
In this book, Little Critter learns that planting his own garden is a lot of fun and a lot of work. But the result-a green, green garden-is something he can cherish and enjoy.
Ancient Agriculture
This book shows the progression of technology through history as human civilizations progressed from foraging to farming. Agriculture enabled humans to stop wandering from place to place to find food. This chapter book includes text as well as photographs and reproductions to illustrate the implementation of agriculture in our daily lives.
New York Agriculture in the Classroom |
3rd Floor Kennedy Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853