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Monthly news & updates
October 2020 | Issue #109
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MAITC Annual Meeting
As a sign of these unprecedented times, the Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Association Annual Meeting will be held in a virtual format on October 28th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. There will be short updates from Grant winners and we will view a 3.5 minute video celebrating the wonderful program of our 2020 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture winning teacher, Lynn Snow from Thomaston Grammar School! To register please email Willie at by October 23, and you will receive the link by email prior to the event. You must RSVP to receive the link for participation.
We SURELY hope to have you there!
New England Dairy Farm Tours
New England Dairy is excited to host three Virtual Farm Tours by grade level for K-12 schools in Fall 2020! These tours will help your students make a personal connection to a New England dairy farmer from the comfort of your own classroom or home. They are offering tours for different grade levels.
MSGN Annual Meeting & Back to School Gardens
The Maine School Garden Network is hosting their Annual Meeting virtually, and you're invited! Here's what you can expect:
  • Meet the MSGN Board of Directors and other school garden stakeholders. Hear what MSGN has been up to over the last year
  • Hear from school garden stakeholders from around the state about how their gardens are growing this fall and garden-related remote learning resources you can use
  • Gather ideas for closing out the fall garden season and planning for the future with Richard Hodges from ReTreeUS
  • Get your garden questions answered - Q&A with board members & stakeholders
Registration is required to receive the link for participation. Register here.

In the meantime, read up on 7 ways you can nurture healthy soil in the fall with this article from KidsGardening.
American Farm Bureau Learn at Home Resources
The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has a new "At Home Learning" page where they're providing weekly ideas for learning about agriculture at home. The activities are free to access and share, they do not build on each other but are individual activities that can be done in any order. Check them out and subscribe to get them straight to your inbox!
Maine Farm to School Network Strategic Planning Session
Join Maine Farm to School leaders on Nov. 5th 9-12 for virtual networking and interactive group activities to define the priorities of the Maine Farm to School Network for the coming years. Open to all Maine farm to school stakeholders; internet connection required. Be sure to fill out the pre-meeting farm to school stakeholder survey by 10/7, and stay tuned for additional meeting materials once you register. Register for the event here.

Can’t attend this virtual event? Share your perspective on the direction of the movement through the farm to school stakeholder survey - and enter to win a gift basket of Maine Grains products!
Harvest of the Month - October is Maine Apples!
Check out the great HOM materials:

Check out our Apple Resource Page
for lessons, activities, and more!
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 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.

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. Students will also learn about Native American Legends and plant growth.

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.

It's a Dirty Job. Grades 6-8. In this lesson, students will create mini habitats to observe earthworm behavior and learn about the important role that earthworms play in decomposition and plant growth.

Properties of Soils. Grades 9-12. Students examine different types of soil that have been mixed with water and allowed to settle. Next, they work with a soil model to investigate its components (sand, silt, and clay) and learn how the properties of these components affect the passage or retention of water through the soil and the amount of air in the soil.

Surrounded by Plants. Grades 9-12. Students identify the importance of plants to human life by surveying their home and neighborhood for plant products used for medicine, aesthetics, fuel products, fiber, and food.

Looking for more? Explore the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix HERE
Check out these videos about pumpkins and apples to learn about how some of our fall favorites grow!
Activities & Resources
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.

Digital Easy Reader Pumpkin Chapter Book. Grades 4-5. Tori and Jade are best friends until a friendly competition to grow the most prized pumpkin nearly tears their friendship apart! Come along as they create plans, work with an agronomist and beekeeper, learn from their mistakes and successes all in an effort to grow weird, warty, and ginormous pumpkins. The summer of the prized pumpkin competition will be one Tori and Jade will never forget!

Soil Science Reader. This digital reader introduces soil formation and soil horizons with a fun edible soil activity. Other topics include the nitrogen cycle, plant nutrition, and fertilizer basics featuring the 4R Nutrient Stewardship. This resource is an excellent supplement to soil lessons and can be requested for free from the Nutrients for Life Foundation. There is a student reader as well as a teacher guide.
Funding is still available for our 2020 Grants Program. New Deadline for Applications is December 14th.
Applications are available on our website.
Budding Botanist Grants
Fifteen high needs schools with new or existing garden programs designed to teach students about environmental sustainability and the importance of biodiversity will be chosen to receive grant packages valued at $1,200.
Schools that are learning remotely, in person, or in a hybrid model are all eligible to apply.
The application is open today and will close on October 30, 2020. Award announcements will be made in December. 
White-Reinhardt Grants
The White-Reinhardt Grant Program funds projects that will increase agricultural literacy. 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. Grants are available on a competitive basis.
Deadline is October 15, 2020.
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.
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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