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Monthly news & updates
January 2023 | Issue #136
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Maine Agricultural Trades Show
Come visit us at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show at the Augusta Civic Center January 10th - 12th!
We will have an exhibit booth and a presentation on the main stage at 10am on Tuesday: Your AG License Plate Funding “Driving” Agriculture Education Forward!
View our listing in the participant directory online and get more info about the trades show - other exhibitors and presentations - by visiting their website and schedule of events!
Our 2023 Read ME Agriculture Program!
Our "Read ME Agriculture" 2023 Program will be happening in March, focused on National Ag Week, the 20 - 24. This year’s book is  "Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera" by Candace Fleming with the incredible artwork of Eric Rohmann. Every classroom that participates will receive the hardcover book and accompanying Educator's Guide with 8 classroom lessons. 
To best serve the 1000 +/- classrooms throughout our state that participate in Read ME each year, the program will be a hybrid model where classrooms can decide the delivery method that works best for them. Options will include in-person and virtual readings. Classrooms can locate their own reader or ask MAITC to help. This is very similar to the successful model we started in 2021. Contacts may register their own classroom or schools may choose 1 contact to register multiple classrooms. 
MAITC is planning separate virtual sessions for grades PK - 1 and 2 - 4 this year. 
If you are interested, please complete this google form by February 10, 2023 and MAITC will contact you by email to fine tune your participation.

Please email us with any questions at: 
New Resource - AgBadging Field Guide
National Agriculture in the Classroom is rolling out a new program! The AgBadging Field Guide will lead you through an exciting exploration of agriculture—what you eat, wear, and use every day. The AgBadging Field Guide provides students in grade 3-5 with an opportunity to learn about agriculture and earn badges in five themes— Agriculture & the Environment, Plants & Animals, Food & Health, Technology & Engineering, and Geography & Culture. Students choose three milestones/activities to complete in each theme. After students complete three milestones in a theme, they earn a theme badge. The AgBadge Field Guide (68 pages) is now available at as a free download or for purchase as printed copies.

There will be physical classroom sets provided to participants of this year's MAITC Summer Teacher's Institute!
Northeast Livestock Expo Kids Day
There is still time for new and repeat schools to register for this great and FUN event! Funding is still available for bussing, first-come, first-serve!
NELE Kids Day will be BACK for 2023 at the Windsor Fairgrounds on Thursday, May 18th! This is a full day field trip opportunity for Grade K-6 students! Up to 30 different exhibits to visit with agricultural animals, insects, history, and more!
Bus transportation reimbursements will be available for schools within a 60 mile radius of Windsor Fairgrounds on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration is MANDATORY!
Email with questions.
Maine School Garden Day
Join us Saturday, May 13, 2023 at Reeds Brook Middle School in Hampden, ME!
Theme: School Gardens–Connecting the Whole School Community
This year Maine School Garden Day will focus on the 3 C’s: Classroom, Cafeteria, and Community. RSU 22 is a participant this year of Maine Farm and Sea to School Network’s Farm to Sea Institute and is looking forward to sharing some of their initiatives with our community! Their new chef will be preparing lunch and highlighting local ingredients their students have been enjoying. There will be time for community connections, local procurement discussions, tours of the grounds and various garden workshops including demos in the apiary! Look for registration in MSGN's January Newsletter!
Summer Teacher's Institute 2023
Register Today for the
Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Summer Teacher's Institute!

July 31 - August 4, 2023
at University of Maine at
Presque Isle

28 Contact Hours or 2.8 CEU’s.

Scholarships are available!
Space is limited so register early!

Learn more on our website!
100% of 2022 Summer Teacher's Institute participants said they would recommend future MAITC professional development workshops to a colleague!
Here's what teachers are saying:
Maine Farm and Sea to School Institute
Planning for the Second Annual Maine Farm and Sea to School Institute is underway!

Check out this video highlighting the Institute's launch!

If you'd like to learn more about the institute and building your school team, register for the info session happening on January 18th at 3pm. You can also visit the MFSN website for more info.
Winter Ideas
Struggling with incorporating ag into your classroom during these winter months? Check out some of these ideas to get your planning juices flowing:
  • Fiber, animal agriculture
  • Food miles, food sources, food security
  • Sugaring - Changes in matter, the water cycle, phenology
  • Candle/Salve Making - change over time, technology, lard candles vs beeswax
  • Butter Making - the carbon cycle, changes in matter, cycles
  • Pickling/Canning bacteria & fermentation, food preservation, cycles
  • Applesauce - changes in matter, cycles, farm to table
  • Tea Bag Making - cycles, plant parts, food preservation
  • Garden Planning - cycles, plant parts, climate, growing season
Harvest of the Month - January is Maine Potatoes!
Check out our Potatoes Resource Page for lessons, activities, books, and more!

Click here for the great Harvest of the Month (HOM) materials - posters, fact sheets, recipes, social media promo, and more!

Search the Ag Literacy Curriculum Matrix for even MORE resources!

All of our HOM Resource Pages can be found on our Teach ME site under "Teaching Units"
Teacher Resources Section
Made to Move. Grades K-2. Students explore simple and complex machines and discover how they are used in agriculture.

Feed Your Soul with Plants. Grades K-6. Check out lesson 4 from the Cool Beans from Around the World nutrition curriculum - recommended for January in honor of MLK Day. Lesson 5. Feed Your Soul with Plants...for strong body, sharp mind & happy spirit. Cool Bean & Cultural Connection: BLACK-EYED Pea & Africa and American Soul Food. Nutrition Focus: Fiber & Healthy Gut Bacteria, Healthy Soil Bacteria. Fun and engaging worksheets with recipes too!

Made to Move. Grades 3-5. Students use simple machines to examine the relationships between force and motion, complete a science journal, and participate in group activities to demonstrate the use of simple machines.

A Chilling Investigation. Grades 6-8. 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 lab will be conducted as a teacher demonstration.

Farmland. Grades 9-12. Students will view the film Farmland, a documentary spotlighting six farmers and ranchers in the United States. The film portrays the business and lifestyle of a variety of farmers and ranchers. Perspectives on topics such as bioengineered (GMO) crops, animal welfare, organic and conventional farming practices, farm size, farming stereotypes, and more are presented.

Looking for more? Explore the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix HERE
Activities & Resources
Activity - Make a Real Mr. Potato Head! A fun activity to go along with the Maine Harvest of the Month featured product - Maine Potatoes!

Video - Why Seasons Make No Sense | It's Okay to Be Smart. Learn why we divide our year into seasons with this video from PBS Teachers. Did you know the word "season" was born on the farm?

Fascinating Farms Around the World. Take an interactive journey around the world to visit 16 farms. These are not your ordinary farms with cattle, sheep, hay, or grain. These farms produce specialty crops such as salmon, tulips, alligators, wind, mussels, coffee, leeches, lavender, yaks, seaweed, ostriches, rice, sunflowers, salt, ostriches, solar power, and alpacas. This journey would be an excellent supplement for elementary geography and agriculture lessons to teach students about less common types of farms.

Hookin' Up and How it Works on the Farm. The farm is a rich environment to learn about wheels, levers, pulleys and wedges. This DVD will take you splitting wood, plowing, and using levers and pulleys to make work easier. Let the farm help your class to understand the application of simple and complex machines.

Tractor Timeline- A History of Tractors. Use this interactive tractor timeline to learn about the history of tractors. Dive into the history of tractor development and see how the evolution of these farm implements has changed how we farm and made it possible to increase our crop yields.

NEW RESOURCE - Elementary Educators’ Guide to Container Gardening from KidsGardening and Crescent Garden. This guide teaches educators the basics of container gardening with kids, including container garden design, planting tips, and curriculum connections. The guide also contains ten ideas for creating engaging themed container gardens for kids, from a Salsa Garden to a Tea Garden or Sensory Garden.

Seeds of Success Toolkit. This toolkit compiles a wealth of knowledge from school gardeners across the country to provide the necessary resources to initiate and sustain a successful school food garden. In the Toolkit, you will find answers to the who, what, where, why, when, and how behind developing a youth garden program so you can feel confident in your planning and implementation. You can download the Toolkit in its entirety or as individual chapters.  

Training Opportunity: Become a Life Lab-Certified School Garden Educator. Begins January 23, 2023 // Virtual // Weekly, Mondays. Become a confident and knowledgeable garden educator who inspires a love of learning, an appreciation of healthy food, and a connection to nature in every child through garden-based education!
Maple Curriculum Support: Tapping into Maple Tradition - Lessons for K-12 Classrooms.

Looking for field trips? Check out Real 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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