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Monthly news & updates
October 2021 | Issue #121
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National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference
2022 Conference
The National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference is headed east! Join us in Saratoga Springs, NY, the "Empire State of Agriculture," from June 28th through July 1st, 2022.
Meet educators from across the country, choose from a full slate of workshops, hear nationally renowned keynote speakers and roll up your sleeves to discover ways of integrating agriculture into your classroom.
Maine AITC is planning transportation and teacher scholarships for the 2022 National AITC Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY!
If you are interested please respond HERE.
Applications for White-Reinhardt grants for Spring 2022 are now being accepted! County and state Farm Bureaus may apply for $1,000 grants for education programs for grades K-12 in order to initiate new ag literacy programs or expand existing programs. Organizations and individual schools can work with their local Farm Bureaus to apply.
Applications are due October 15th! Click here for more information.
ALL CATEGORIES are open for our December 13th deadline! Are you looking for funding to do more ag in your classroom?! Apply today!

More info and applications are available on the website.
Deadline: December 13th.
From 2022 Budding Botanist Grant - In early 2022, eighteen high-need schools across the United States will be awarded $1000 in grant funding to support their youth garden programs. Deadline is October 29th. For more info.
Maine School Garden Network Events
Join Maine School Garden Network for the fifth session of Maine School Garden Days TOMORROW! (Saturday, October 2nd, 8-9:30am)
"Building Long-term Support with School Boards, Administrators, and the Public"
This session will focus on ways to build awareness and support for your school garden and farm to school programming. No matter how big, small, or the types of programming you're engaging in with your students, support from the community, and the school board, are critical. Each registrant will receive a zoom link before the session. Register here.

You can watch the video recordings of past sessions on the MSGN YouTube Channel.
Join us the first Saturday of November (November 6th) from 8-9:30am for our virtual annual meeting, "Literacy Connections to the Garden," which will double as the final installment in our series Maine School Garden Days. This session will focus on ways to connect your school garden with your literacy curriculum, no matter the age range of your classroom. We'll be joined by some of Maine's leaders in the school garden and farm to school movement, each with years of experience making connections between the school garden and literacy. Each registrant will receive a zoom link before the session. We look forward to seeing you! Register here.
Back To School Gardens
A 2021 USDA Farm to School Turnkey Grant will enable ReTreeUS’ Back to School Garden program to be implemented in 10 schools throughout the state of Maine. This program solves major issues confronting school gardens, especially summer maintenance, while increasing productivity to generate abundant harvests for cafeterias and maximizing garden learning opportunities. ReTreeUS is also utilizing funding from Hannaford and other sources to be able to reach a total of 15 schools.
Collaborators on this effort include Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC), Maine School Garden Network (MSGN), Independent Retailers Shared Services Cooperative (IRSSC) and Coast of Maine. MAITC is leading educational workshops and providing tailored curriculum kits full of resources. Seedlings were grown by Wolfe’s Neck Center and Mountain Heartbeet Farm.
New Maine Initiative to Build Ag Literacy Through Immersive CTE Culinary Arts Programs
This is is one of 21 projects funded nationwide by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
A goal of the project is to help create a skilled, educated workforce that will increase the use of Maine grown, processed and produced foods in their programs and careers by changing the way students — tomorrow’s food professionals — think about the importance and value of local food, according to the researchers. 
Harvest of the Month - October is Maine Apples!

Check out our Apples Resource Page for lessons, activities, books, and more!

Click here for the great HOM materials - posters, fact sheets, recipes, social media promo, and more!

Search the Ag Literacy Curriculum Matrix for even MORE resources!
Virtual Dynamic Dairy Presentation & Farmer Panel
Save the date! October 12th, 2:30-4pm
In honor of National Farmers Day and National Farm to School Month, the Maine Farm to School Network is co-hosting a Virtual Dynamic Dairy Presentation & Farmer Panel with Maine Dairy Promotion Board | Dairy Nutrition Council, Maine Agriculture in the Classroom, and Maine Dept. of Education Child Nutrition. Learn about the current ME dairy industry from a panel of ME dairy farmers and the organizations that connect ME dairy to ME schools! Registrants will receive a resource packet to both teach about ME dairy and procure ME dairy products. Register here!
Teacher Resources Section
The Case of the Missing Pumpkin. Grades K-2. Students investigate the phenomenon of decomposing pumpkins as a part of the plant's life cycle.

Pumpkins...Not Just for Halloween. Grades K-2. Grades 3-5. Students will learn a variety of subjects including history, science, nutrition, and math through the study of pumpkins. Activities include estimating the size and weight of pumpkins, sprouting pumpkin seeds, and making pumpkin pie in a bag.

Tasty Testing. Grades 3-5. Students discover the geographic regions where basil, oregano, and cilantro have cultural significance, understand the role of evaporation in herb drying, and recognize the different properties of dried and fresh herbs.

Three Sisters Garden. Grades 3-5. Students will investigate the "three sisters" crops (corn, beans, and squash) and explore the benefit to planting these crops together.

The Rotten Truth. Grades 3-5. Students will observe and explain the decomposition process and learn the methods and ingredients for making compost.

Apple Genetics: A Tasty Phenomena. Grades 6-8. Using the context of apples, students will apply their knowledge of heredity and genetics to distinguish between sexual and asexual reproduction as they explain how new varieties of apples are developed and then propagated to meet consumer demand for a tasty, uniform, consistent product.

From Foraging to Farming. Grades 6-8. Students will participate in a foraging activity, gaining perspective on how scarcity of resources can affect well-being and how agriculture provides the benefit of a steady, reliable food supply. Then they will read about hunter-gatherers and early agriculture and use maps to explore how geography affected the development of early civilizations.

Herbs and Spices of the World. Grades 9-12. In this lesson students will recognize the difference between a spice and herb, learn how herbs and spices are grown on farms around the world, and participate in a culinary challenge to season popcorn for various cultural cuisines.

Where Does it Grow? Grades 9-12. Students will discover the connection between climate and our food supply as they answer the question, "Where does it grow?" They will also explore the consequences of climate change on our food supply and discover how advances in science can help farmers adapt to climate change.

Looking for more? Explore the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix HERE
Activities & Resources
Purple Plow Challenge. Fall 2021 - Growing Your Community Challenge. Often, we think of individuals that are living with food insecurity to be homeless or easy to identify, yet they could be your neighbor or even a classmate. Are you ready to help solve this problem? After thoughtful research to evaluate how these challenges exist globally and locally, students will assess their local food system and create a solution to help minimize food insecurity in their community. The final product will be a functioning soil-based growing space for edible plants and products to benefit the area food system with an emphasis on community partnerships.

The Great Pumpkin. This is a fun and simple activity in which students will make a paper-plate model of the life cycle of a pumpkin.

Pumpkin Reader. Use this 4-page reader for students to self-discover facts about pumpkins. What are pumpkins? Topics include: Pumpkin vocabulary, plant anatomy, pumpkin history, varieties of pumpkins, and more.

Pumpkin Collapse Video. Observe the decomposition of a Jack-o-lantern in time-lapse over an 8-week period of time.
Maple Curriculum Support: Tapping into Maple Tradition - Lessons for K-12 Classrooms.

Looking for field trips? Check out Get Real Get 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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