New York Agriculture in the Classroom | November 2018
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Important Dates:

Dec. 4- Farm to School Grant Application Deadline

Dec. 23- Grow with Us Applications Due

Jan. 7- North Country Jr. Iron Chef Registration Opens

March 1- NYFB Scholarship Due

March18-22- Agricultural Literacy Week

June 18-21- National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas

Grow With Us Grant: Sprouting Inspiration for Second Year
Following the success of last year, New York Agriculture in the Classroom is again awarding grow systems through the Grow With Us Grant to extend the school gardening season. 

The  Grow with Us Grant allows schools to apply for
three types of grow systems. Schools should apply for the grow system that would best meet their educational goals, classroom space needs, and consider their experience level in school gardening and curriculum integration. 

New York Agriculture in the Classroom aspires to provide teachers the vehicle and tools to facilitate experiential-learning using agriculture as the context for learning. $70,000 will be invested in this grant programs.

Applications are open now and due Sunday, December 23rd .  Visit our website  to learn more about the eligibility requirements, view photos of the featured grow systems, and apply for the grant.

2019 Farm to School Grant Applications Open
October is Farm to School Month! To celebrate, the USDA is announcing the official release of the FY 2019 Farm to School Grant Request for Applications. The  USDA will award up to $7.5 million in competitive grants to eligible entities through the Farm to School Grant Program in fiscal year 2019. Each grant helps implement Farm to School programs that increase access to local food in eligible schools, providing students with quality meals at a reasonable cost while also supporting local producers. For more  information, visit Applications are due by December 4, 2018

North Country Jr. Iron Chef
Starting January 7, 2019 schools in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Franklin, Clinton, Essex, and Hamilton counties can register online for the North Country Jr. Iron Chef competition. Teams will compete by creating healthy recipes using a combination of fresh produce and USDA commodity foods. Register and learn more at

NY Farm Bureau 2019 Agricultural Youth Scholarship
Graduating high school seniors who plan on continuing their education to prepare for a career connected to agriculture are eligible to apply for the New York Farm Bureau 2019 Agricultural Youth Scholarship. Three scholarships in the amounts of $1,500, $1,200, and $1,000 will be awarded. Applications are due via email or postmarked by  March 1, 2019

It's Time for Holiday Lessons!
You can't have the holidays without agriculture! Enrich your holiday curriculum with FREE educational resources from the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of NY.  Through these multi-disciplinary lessons, students will increase their ecological literacy and their understanding of the landscape in which they live. They'll learn the historical context for decorating with evergreens at the darkest time of year-- a tradition that long predates the religious celebration of Christmas. 
Check out all the available resources on  our website !

Agricultural Literacy Grant Spotlight
Ben Amorese- Windsor Central High School
"Chicken Coop Farm to Market"
With farming visible all around them, agriculture education provides students with a relevant and engaging framework within which they can learn about agricultural science and agricultural business at Windsor Central.  By starting and running their own agricultural business, Windsor Central High School students will have an authentic learning experience that provides them with a real-world understanding of the benefits, challenges, and responsibilities of this field, in addition to related topics such as food safety and the food supply chain. 

Students will participate in a Farm to Market experience from start to finish, including creating a business plan for a viable small agricultural business, selecting and helping build a chicken coop, selecting and raising chicks, caring for the chicks/hens, collecting the eggs, and marketing and selling the eggs locally.  They will also investigate ways to maximize egg production, ensure food safety, and ensure that they are good stewards of the hen and the coop. 

Learn more about the Agricultural Literacy Grant and view the other recipients on our website
Teacher Resources
Looking for topics to engage students in critical thinking and argumentation? This site deals in "food matters" highlighting the relationship between producers and consumers using credible resources on the topics of global food production, sustainable agriculture, and nutrition.
Careers in Agriculture
In order to fuel the talent pipeline, younger generations need to be presented with a positive image of agriculture and a comprehensive view into the diversity of the industry in a format appropriate to their interests. has created an e-book dedicated to inspiring young people to pursue careers in agriculture.  The Careers in Agriculture digital e-book is designed as a guide for student career exploration presenting them with a current, in-depth, thorough, and real view of the agricultural industry. All pages are equipped with interactive links including videos, further reading, and more.

Elementary Resources
A Rafter of Turkeys
Did you know a group of turkeys is called a "rafter"? Use this lesson to teach your students all about the star of Thanksgiving. Students will learn about the domestication and life cycle of the turkey, recognize how turkeys are raised on farms, and identify turkey products.
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Students will explore organic and conventional farming practices by analyzing multimedia texts to investigate the differences between conventionally and organically grown apples. This lesson is best for grades 3-5. 
By Land, Air, or Sea
Did you know over 32 million trucks are on the road everyday in America? Show your students the importance of the transportation industry with this lesson. Students will discover how agricultural commodities are transported from producers to consumers.

Middle School/ High School Resources
The Geography of Thanksgiving Dinner
In this lesson for grades 6-8, students will identify common Thanksgiving foods and their farm source, determine if those foods can be produced locally, and locate the common origins of their Thanksgiving day dinner.
A Chilling Investigation
Students will observe the difference in bacterial count between a hamburger that's left out at room temperature and a hamburger that's kept refrigerated. The lab reinforces the concept that food must be properly chilled in order for it to remain safe to eat. This  lesson
would be a great addition to the Top Cut Beef Contest or as a way to demonstrate the importance of food safety in keeping us healthy. 

The Quicker the Better?  
In this lesson, students will explore different levels of food processing and the ways in which processed foods affect the health of our diets by looking at examples of foods from the grocery store and by closely examining food labels.
Algaculture and Biofuel
In this lesson students will use the scientific method to learn about the growth properties of algae and how algae production may be a possible solution to address the global energy crisis. Students will utilize the engineering design process to apply their knowledge about algae growth to create a bioreactor for algae production and discover if biofuel can be made from algae.
October Book Nook
Time for Cranberries
From the cranberry bog to the Thanksgiving table, join Sam and his family as they harvest a classic American fruit. This charming, lyrical picture book follows Sam and his family as they raise the water in the bog, pick the cranberries, and gather the fruit for processing. It's a story of modern family farming in action, showing readers where their food comes from but mostly delighting them along the way. This book is a great companion to lessons on farming, harvesting, use of machines, Thanksgiving, or cranberries.
Eating the Plates
A fascinating slice of American history,  Eating the Plates  describes the customs, manners, and eating habits of the Pilgrims. From the hardships of the settlers' first years in the wilderness, to their eventual success in farming and hunting, the reader is immersed in the sights, sounds, and smells of life in Plymouth. The evolution of diet in early America is a subject that should appeal to students; the glimpses of Pilgrim manners and home life are sure to amuse. Ten tasty, simple recipes provide directions for a full meal.
Brave Dogs, Gentle Dogs
Sheep need protection from predators. Guardian dogs are used to protect the flocks from danger. This book is a good introduction for how these animals are important for agriculture. Students will enjoy seeing the bond that these animals share and how ranchers deal with predators and protection of their animals.
New York Agriculture in the Classroom |
3rd Floor Kennedy Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853