Happy New Year!
Our Utah Agriculture in the Classroom team would like to thank everyone who made the past year such a success! We were very busy with inservice and preservice workshops--sharing educational resources with teachers and students to increase agricultural literacy. And, we were on the road presenting at the state science conference, the state social studies conference, the state STEM conference, and even the National Agriculture in the Classroom conference. We know that our work depends on the support of many, and we thank our donors, the Utah Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, the Utah Farm Bureau Women's Committee, volunteers, and others who generously offer their time, talents, and financial resources to help us in our mission of improving agricultural literacy by increasing student awareness about agriculture and instilling in students an appreciation of our food and fiber system. Here's to a great 2019!
~ Denise, Bekka, Carrie, and Lindsey
Congratulations to Our
Hatching Science Grant Recipients
  • Bell View Elementary, Sandy
  • North Star Elementary, Salt Lake City
  • Canyon Rim Elementary, Salt Lake City
  • Columbia Elementary, West Jordan
  • Bluffdale Elementary, Bluffdale
  • Riverside Elementary, West Jordan
  • DaVinci Academy, Ogden
  • Farr West Elementary, Farr West
  • H. Guy Child Elementary, Ogden
  • Fort Herriman Middle School, Herriman
  • Northwest Middle School, Salt Lake City
  • Clayton Middle School, Salt Lake City
  • Montezuma Creek Elementary, Montezuma Creek
  • Blanding Elementary, Blanding
  • Albert R. Lyman Middle School, Blanding
  • Monticello Elementary, Monticello
  • Monticello High School, Monticello

Teachers from these schools will participate in our Hatching Science workshops where they will receive a new Brinsea incubator and brooding kit worth $250.
Join us for the National
Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in
Little Rock, Arkansas!
June 19-21, 2019

Register here (link will be live soon).
Be sure to follow the Utah AITC Facebook and Twitter accounts--
we'll let you know when registration opens!
Congratulations to the 2019
Utah Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award Recipient
Brad Hendershot Receives Utah AITC
Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award

“Do you want to build a greenhouse?” That’s the question that Brad Hendershot’s 8 th grade science students asked him nearly eight years ago, and that was the beginning of an educational adventure! Fast forward to the present, and Excelsior Academy’s science program now includes two greenhouses and a thriving Greenthumbs program where students learn about agriculture using the themes “Food, Health, and Lifestyle” and “Science, Technology, Engineering & Math.”

The Utah Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award is a competitive award that annually recognizes an outstanding teacher who increases student awareness about agriculture and instills in students an appreciation for our food and fiber system.

As the recipient of the 2019 Utah Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award, Brad receives an expenses-paid trip to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, this summer. Utah Agriculture in the Classroom is proud to introduce Brad as the 2019 winner, and we look forward to working with him as he inspires future scientists and helps them understand the importance of agriculture in their daily lives. Read more about Brad’s story here.
Utah AITC Summer Agriculture Institute
July 29-31, 2019
Our Summer Agriculture Institute (SAI) will take place July 29-31, 2019.

SAI is an exciting three-day, traveling agricultural institute designed to help
K-12 teachers infuse their existing curriculum with the depth and real-world relevance that agriculture can bring to classroom learning experiences. Packed with food, tours, and inservice training, this special institute will provide professional development, foster agricultural literacy, and equip teachers with research-based lessons and activities. Participants will receive free classroom materials that are aligned with Utah standards and objectives. Join us as we tour various locations from Salt Lake City to Logan.

Watch for more details in the spring newsletter!
Featured Lessons & Resources

Maple syrup season is almost here! Did you know it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup? There are at least one hundred species of maple trees. Fourteen species are found in the United States, with the majority of them found in the northeast and midwest sections of our country.

In this K-2 lesson, students will recognize how geography and climate allow for the growth of maple trees and the process of making syrup. They will identify the characteristics of maple trees that produce the best sap for making maple syrup and name the steps in the process of creating syrup from sap.

One of America's favorite pie flavors is cherry! Seventy-five percent of the tart cherries in the United States are produced in the cherry capital of the world—Michigan! Did you know Utah is second in the nation for tart cherry production?

In this 3rd-5th grade lesson, students will explore tart cherry production in the United States and explain why producers and consumers are needed in the cherry industry. 

In a global study about consumer perceptions of a food labeled "organic," 82% of respondents believed the product was chemical/pesticide free, 75% thought the product was safer, 68% believed it was better for the environment, and 67% believed it was more nutritious.

In this 9th-12th grade lesson, students will evaluate food package labels; determine their meaning; and use the Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning model to determine the value of the label in relation to food production practices, nutrition, health, and food safety. Students will engage in critical thinking to recognize the impact of food package labels in relation to marketing, consumer perceptions of food, and farming practices.

School Gardens: Students Get Their Hands Dirty in Experiential Learning

Guest article by Ashlyn Christian, Utah State University Honors Student
Imagine a school classroom surrounded by gardens. Are the students filled with wonder and curiosity? Do students in this classroom excel in their classwork? How would experiences in a garden impact the students’ school work, eating habits, and personal relationships? Research within schools indicates that school gardens can take children’s education even further than the school walls. By teaching in nature’s classroom, children learn in moments and experiences. They are inspired to use their senses to touch, smell, see, and taste the lessons provided by teachers. Their understandings of lessons will increase, but the reach of school gardens’ influence does not stop with lessons. The influence of gardens encourages children to investigate and inquire about the world around them. Children exercise their imaginations, build communication skills, think critically, solve problems, and create connections to food.

Thanks to the School Garden Center created by Utah Agriculture in the Classroom, integrating a classroom around a school garden becomes feasible. Lessons and resources are provided for teachers, and hands-on activities engage students in experiential learning in the garden. Students make connections from school gardens to language arts, history, geography, math, nutrition, art, social studies, and science. Students are instructed to read texts; keep journals; create garden signs; discover the history of food and different cultures; and measure, multiply, chart, and budget for school gardens. Students interact with each other and design and build their gardens using their own ideas. As a result, students have opportunities to make healthy eating and lifestyle choices as they taste the fruits and vegetables grown in their own gardens.

“Dig in” to the School Garden Center and help students engage in deeper learning techniques, develop relationships beyond school walls, and improve their understanding of core curriculum. 
Cultivating Knowledge · Connecting Us All