MAITC Heading
Monthly news & updates
January 2022 | Issue #124
*make sure to click "View entire message" to get access to the full newsletter!*
Back to School Garden Curriculum Connections Virtual Workshop - Part 2 - TOMORROW
Maine Agriculture in the Classroom is holding the second of our two virtual curriculum workshops focused on materials and lessons to connect school gardens to your classroom curricula on January 4th. Lessons will be modeled and books and resources will be highlighted. Participants will receive One Contact Hour and a set of digital resources and classroom materials mailed to them following attendance.
The recording of the December workshop will be available soon!
The second workshop will be held via Zoom on: Tuesday, January 4, 2022 from 3:30-4:30pm 

Please register by completing this google form and to receive the Zoom link. 
Questions? Email MAITC at:
"Read ME Agriculture" 2022
Hooray! Our "Read ME Agriculture" 2022 Program will be happening on March 21 - 25, 2022. This year’s book is “Tomatoes for Neela” by Padma Lakshmi. Every classroom that participates will receive the hardcover book and accompanying lessons and activities. To best serve the hundreds of classrooms throughout our state that participate in Read ME each year, the 2022 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. 
If you are interested, please complete this google form by February 11, 2022. Then MAITC will contact you to fine tune your participation.

Please email us with any questions at:
Virtual Maine Agricultural Trades Show

MAITC will be hosting a conference session on Tuesday, January 11th from 3:00-4:15pm via zoom: What's New in Ag Education for ME
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 845 0637 2386, Passcode: 039782, phone +1 646 558 8656 US 

  • 3:00pm - Erik Wade, Dept. of Education MLTI program – “Let's Go to a Farm! Al-paca bag”
Description: Traditional field trips can be expensive and time-consuming. In a digital world, students can visit faraway places virtually, so why can’t they do the same thing in the agriculture industry. Erik has developed a virtual farm tour of an Alpaca Farm located in Unity, Maine, that allows students to interact with the farm either through a virtual reality headset or on a traditional screen. For teachers, there is material designed to integrate into your existing middle school curriculum that can support the learning in the virtual tour. 
  • 3:30pm - Samantha Grenier, SNAP Educator – “Tomatoes for Neela” recipe demonstration
Description: The new 2022 “Read ME Agriculture” book will be showcased through one of the recipes it contains. Neela loves to cook with her amma (mother) and they use the recipes handed down from her paati (grandmother) in far away India. Padma Lakshmi, the author, uses fun facts about tomatoes to celebrate this family’s treasured recipes! In 2022 “Read ME Agriculture” will be a hybrid of both virtual and in-person presentations with hardcover copies of the book and connections to many additional resources for each participating classroom. 
  • 4:00 - Questions and Answers on educational Resources available from MAITC

Visit the trades show website for information on conference sessions, virtual exhibit booths, listening posts, and more.
Back To School Gardens
Check out this video to learn more about the Back to School Garden (BTSG) program! In the video, Richard Hodges explains how the BTSG Program teaches organic agriculture and environmental stewardship while providing fresh lettuce and kale for school lunch programs.
More info:
UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Building Agricultural Literacy Through an Immersive Culinary Experience Grant Update 
Attention High School CTE Culinary Arts Instructors:
MAITC and UMaine Cooperative Extension are offering mini-grant funds of up to $2,000 for agricultural literacy education programs at Maine High School Career Technical Education Culinary Arts Programs. The deadline for e-mail submission is 5:00 PM on March 1, 2022. Follow this link for grant applications.
The application is simple: Provide a short description of your proposed project, estimated budget, timeline and how it will impact agricultural literacy education and/or promote the use of local foods in your Culinary Arts Program.

Save the Dates!
April 28, 2022
High School CTE Culinary Arts Local Foods Competition at UMO
FMI contact Kathy Savoie at:

July 25 - July 28, 2022
Immersive Culinary Arts Summer Institute
A professional development opportunity specifically designed for Maine High School CTE Culinary Arts Instructors. 
FMI contact Kathy Savoie at:
Maine Farm & Sea to School Institute!
Applications open in January!

The Maine Farm to School Institute is a unique opportunity to impact your entire community! It is a year-long professional opportunity for Maine schools/districts to develop a Farm to School (FTS) program. The Institute begins with a team self assessment, followed by the Academy Program where teams learn about the 3 Cs of a FTS program (cafeteria, classroom, community), discover the opportunities and resources in Maine, develop a vision for their FTS program, develop an action plan to implement that vision, network with other FTS champions, and receive guidance from an assigned Coach!

For more information and to view the timeline and commitment, check out the website.

To get involved in Institute planning or financially support the Institute launch, contact MFSN coordinator at
Aquaculture me! Winter 2022 Professional Development Day
Aquaculture in Maine Classrooms - Where are we, and where are we going?
What to expect: hands-on demos, loaner tanks, aquaculture micro credentials, making connections with sea farmers, curriculum design and brainstorming.
When: January 28, 2022. Time: 8:30am - 2:30pm. Where: The Darling Center - UMaine.
Learn more here. Register using this google form. Questions? Contact Morgan Cuthbert.
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 HOM materials - posters, fact sheets, recipes, social media promo, and more!

Search the Ag Literacy Curriculum Matrix for even MORE resources!
National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference
Come with us to Saratoga Springs, NY!
June 28th through July 1st, 2022.

This conference is the premier professional development experience for teachers who use food and agriculture as a lens for learning to meet their academic goals.
Meet educators from across the country, choose from a full slate of workshops, hear nationally renowned keynote speakers and roll up your sleeves to discover ways of integrating agriculture into your classroom.

Maine AITC is planning transportation and teacher scholarships for the 2022 National AITC Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY!
If you are interested please respond HERE.
Teacher Resources Section
Pigs on the Farm. Grades K-2. Students explore the basic needs of animals and create a model of a modern pig barn that will help farmers meet the needs of the animals.

Let's Raise a Barn. Grades 3-5. Students explore the benefits and functions of different types of barns and use problem-solving skills to build a model of a hay barn that meets specific requirements.

Hen House Engineering. Grades 6-8. Grades 9-12. Students will use the Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning model to evaluate styles of housing used for hens that lay eggs. Using critical thinking skills, students will compare housing styles, determine which system meets their animal welfare standards, and engineer their own hen house model to meet the needs of laying hens. This lesson covers a socioscientific issue and aims to provide students with tools to evaluate science within the context of social and economic points of view.

Looking for more? Explore the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix HERE
Learn about some different types of barns!
Activities & Resources
Hen House Prototype. Creating a prototype is an important part of the engineering process. Adding paper circuits and fans to a cardboard model can be a cost effective way for students to build a prototype. The Hen House Prototype Kit contains copper tape, white LEDs, 3V coin cell batteries, hobby motors, and propellers. The kit contains enough materials for 12 small groups of students.

Indoor Gardening. Don't let cold weather slow down your classroom's gardening efforts! Use winter months to extend “green” experiences by cultivating indoor gardens.Using grow lights or sunny windowsills, your class can experiment with growing a wide range of plants, from houseplants and blooming bulbs to edible crops like radishes and lettuce.

Journey 2050 Agricultural Resources. Check out the great resources available from Journey 2050 - articles, activities, posters, videos, news coverage, lesson plans, and more!

Child Nutrition Sharing Site Resource Hub. Nutrition education, menu planning, farm to school resources, and more! This is your one stop shop for all Operation-related Child Nutrition Program Resources.

Kids Garden Community Resource Library. Looking for inspiration? Dig into these top-rated resources! Use the filters to explore guides, curricula, webinars and more for teaching and learning through the garden. 
Grant Opportunities
The 2022 Farm to School Grant Request for Applications is Now Open!
USDA expects to award approximately $12 million in competitive grants to eligible entities through the Farm to School Grant Program in FY 2022. Each grant helps implement farm to school programs that increase access to local food in Child Nutrition Program (CNP) meals, connect children with agriculture for better health, and inspire youth to consider careers in agriculture. The grant RFA can be found here. Deadline is January 10, 2022.

Apples4Ed supports schools across the country with grant funding to supplement student nutrition and expose students to a wider variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Submit your school for grant funding for supplemental nutrition or programs that teach students how to make healthy choices.

Deadline is January 21, 2022.
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.

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"  
To sign up for this newsletter, email: