MAITC Heading
Monthly news & updates
July 2020 | Issue #106
*make sure to click "View entire message" to get access to the full newsletter!*
Maine Agriculture in the Classroom GRANTS PROGRAM
In 2020, funding is earmarked for grants in 5 categories! This support of Maine agriculture education in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 is a direct result of the Maine Agricultural Specialty License Plate.
For more information on our grants program or to view archived lists of past winners, check out the Grants Program page on our website.

Apply for a grant in one of our five categories, click the links below for more information and applications:

*** If your 2019 grant has been delayed you can receive a 1-year, no-cost extension by emailing the request to  before your final report deadline. ***
Seeking Teacher of the Year Nominations & Applications!
Each year, MAITC recognizes an outstanding Maine elementary or secondary school teacher who uses agricultural education materials and/or activities in the classroom to teach core subjects. Next year's winner will receive a trip to Des Moines, IO!
Know a great teacher who's incorporating ag into their classroom? 
Nominate them to be our 2021 Teacher of the Year!
Teachers can be nominated or submit an application themselves.
Please mail application to: MAITC, ME Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry, 28 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333 or email before 5:00 on October 2, 2020 . Direct questions to Willie Sawyer Grenier at or (207) 287-5522.
Teacher Feedback Session - Sustainable Fisheries
Who:  Grade 3-5 educators, formal classroom teachers or informal providers
What:  Join for a morning of professional development and help us with your expertise with grade 3-5 students. University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine EPSCoR are creating lessons that help bring local, Maine-based research to your classroom. Multiple lessons have been created about sustainable fisheries and environmental DNA, geared towards grades 3-5, that will ultimately become a toolkit for UMaine Extension 4-H. We ask that you try one of the activities and give us your feedback. We will supply materials for activities and you provide us with your feedback - what do you like, what do you not like, what would you really use in YOUR classroom? Engage in conversation with other educators throughout Maine about how these Maine-based STEM activities can apply in your own classroom and can best be tailored to the targeted grade levels
All participants will be mailed a packet in advance with materials for an activity. This blended session will include in person components and a mid-session offline activity.
Where:   UMaine Extension will host via Zoom videoconference technology.
When:  August 11th, 9:00 AM - noon. (registration deadline July 14)
Why:   Get new ideas for STEM education in your classroom, support emerging research from your University and…. we’ll provide a  $50 stipend  for participation.
How:    Sign up online here . Space is limited to 10 participants.

For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Sarah Sparks at 800.287.1458, 207.581.8206, or , to discuss needs at least 14 days in advance. If requests are received after this date, we may not have sufficient time to make necessary arrangements.
Local Foods Culinary Trainings
The DOE Child Nutrition program will be offering hands on (though virtual for the time being) culinary trainings in their Kitchen Classroom. Trainings will be held monthly, with each topic coinciding with the  Maine Harvest of the Month  featured ingredient two months in advance. These hands-on trainings will be led by farmers, chefs, and industry professionals that can offer their expertise and skills on specific local ingredients. Contact Robin Kerber at the DOE for more info.

Virtual Professional Development from Nutrients for Life
Nutrients for Life Foundation (NFLF) will host the third annual Professional Development Event, Soil – Life’s Main Ingredient, July 27-31, 2020 virtually. This course is designed for teachers aiming to further their knowledge and understanding of soil, enhance their current curriculum, and learn why our Foundation refers to it as Life’s Main Ingredient. Using the free, Smithsonian approved, Nutrients for Life Foundation curricula and 4R principles attendees will learn the scientific reasoning behind soil, nutrients and the environment. Educators participating in the professional development will be provided the necessary knowledge, free resources and experience to take back to their classrooms with ready to go hands on STEM lesson plans. Find more info and register here.
Harvest of the Month - July is Maine Summer Squash!
Check out the great HOM materials:

Check out our NEW
Summer Squash Resource Page for lessons, activities, and more!
Teacher Resources Section
Counting Sheep or People? Census 2020. Grades K-2. Students will explore the Census of 2020 by making a connection between shepherds counting their sheep and counting the population of the United States.

American Farmers Count! Census 2020 . Grades 3-5. Students will compare and contrast the differences between the Census of Agriculture and the decennial census.

Soil Formation & Edible Horizons . Grades 3-5. Students will discover what a soil profile looks like, investigate the composition of soil, and explore the five soil-forming factors and soil horizons.

Mind Your Own Beeswax . Grades 6-8. Through project-based learning, students will solve the problem of excess beeswax, a byproduct of honey bees, by developing a useful beeswax product and marketing their product to be sold in a local boutique or farmers market.

The Carbon Cycle and Climate Smart Agriculture . Grades 9-12. Students will explore the carbon cycle, evaluate natural and human-induced activities that drive the carbon cycle, and discover climate smart agricultural practices that can be used to produce our food.
Learn about how some of these seasonal foods - bell peppers and cauliflower, grow in these videos:

Activities & Resources
Resources from:
National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization - Ag Discussion Board Facebook Group

NAITCO has created a new Facebook page for teachers and other educators to share AITC-related questions and conversations. NAITCO leadership realized that teachers and educators wanted a way to communicate with each other about AITC information and best practices. It can be used as a place of discussion for experienced and beginning educators alike.  
Ag in the Classroom Virtual Resources Compilation
AITC State Programs across the country are working hard to provide the online pre-kindergarten-12th grade educational resources and virtual experiences students, parents and teachers are seeking. The result: Dozens of educational modules, virtual farm tours, online reading experiences and social media special events are now available using agricultural concepts to help educators teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies and more at home. Check out the list of resources here.

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 Stafford Donate Here .
Our Mission Statement
"To promote the understanding of agriculture and natural resources among students, educators, and the general public"  
To sign up for this newsletter, email: