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

May 15- Look at Agriculture... Organically! Grant Applications Due

May 25- Final Agricultural Literacy Grant Applications Due

June 12,13,15- Meat Your Beef Tour

June 27-29- National AITC Conference in Portland, ME
"Meat Your Beef" Farm to Fork Tours
In partnership with the New York Beef Council, New York Agriculture in the Classroom is excited to announce the second annual "Meat Your Beef" Tour. This f ood system training is available for teachers across the state who are  interested in  learning more about the meat production industry in New York, have questions about how beef cattle are fed, cared for, and marketed, and want to give a first-hand perspective on food production to their students. Learn more about this opportunity and register here
Funding for your Creative Classroom Projects - Apply for an Agricultural Literacy Grant
The new Agricultural Literacy Grant was created to help fund your most creative ideas to teach through a lens of agriculture. Submit your great idea to enhance your classroom learning and let New York Agriculture in the Classroom support your endeavor to include agriculture as a context for learning.

An Agricultural Literacy Grant proposal can be anywhere between $10 to a maximum of $1,200. Proposals for the Agricultural Literacy Grant can include, but are not limited to: f unding for farm field trips, p urchasing agriculturally accurate books, m aterials for classroom projects, s tarting a courtyard chicken coop, and e xpanding your school garden project, and more. 

Grant proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until Friday, May 25, 2018 and s ubmissions will be reviewed every two weeks. Find more information and the  application here
School of Logging at Paul Smith's College
In order to provide the next generation of forestry professionals with a breadth of experiential training and assist them with entry into the workforce, the  School of Logging training program is being offered this summer at Paul Smith's College. This four week program will take place July 9th- August 4th and is designed for people that have graduated high school prior to the start of the program.  For more information or to register, visit their website

Look at Agriculture... Organically! Grants Now Available!
The Look at Agriculture... Organically! grants are designed to creatively enhance the understanding of organic agriculture for kindergarten through eighth grade students. Grants of up to $1,000 will be provided to educators nationwide to support the integration of organic agriculture into regular classroom instruction. The grants are provided through a collaborative effort between the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (CFAITC) and the  California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) Foundation.

The grant application period is now open and will close on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. For more information and to apply online, visit the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom website

Teacher of the Year Spotlight
Margaret Negrelli- Teacher of the Year, Special Education Division
New York Agriculture in the Classroom (NYAITC) is pleased to announce the selection of Margaret Negrelli as one of our 2018 Teachers of the Year. Margaret will be representing NYAITC as a model educator who incorporates agriculture as a context for learning in her Kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms at the Jim Thorpe School in Brooklyn.

Her classes have been landscaping what will become two entry learning gardens: building benches, designing and making stepping stones for pathways, building raised beds, planting shrubs, perennial plants and bulbs. Students learn about geometry and algebra through garden planning and raised flower bed construction and about the connectivity of life and how each organism on the planet plays an important role. They learn that some flowers can be eaten while others grow to become fruits and vegetables. Margaret finds covert ways to teach students sentence structure, grammar and ways to infuse rich text while writing about beautiful pollinators and creating garden recipes.

Congratulations, Margaret!

Read more about Margaret and our other outstanding Teachers of the Year here

Teacher Resources
Sustainability Barrel- The Law of Minimums 
The Sustainability Barrel is a visual demonstrating the law of minimums of plant growth. Without each important element a plant needs to grow, there is a limitation for the plant to stay healthy and thrive. Whether an element is needed in a large amount or the smallest trace amount, a plant's health will not sustain with an element lacking. This classroom visual brings the necessary factors a plant needs to be healthy to live, by showing how all of the elements need to be balanced. Find the full activity here
A "Sour" Subject
Celebrate National Orange Juice Day on May 4th and National Lemonade Day on May 6th by learning about citrus fruits. In this lesson students will learn about the growth and production of citrus fruits and participate in an activity where they use skills of observation and mathematical computation to compare and contrast grapefruits and lemons. 
Farm Animal Match
Students will match farm animals with their young, learn the terminology for males, females, and baby animals, identify the products each farm animal produces, and learn basic facts about how animals are cared for on a farm. This lesson is recommend for grades Kindergarten-2. 
Magic Beans and Giant Plants 
In this lesson for grades 3-5, students will plant seeds and make considerations on which conditions affect plant growth. They will design and conduct experiments using a problem-solving process and compare and contrast to understand the parameters which influence the health and growth of living things.
Middle School/ High School
Robots are Coming to Pick Your Berries
Can we engineer a strawberry picker to match what humans can do? What are the consequences in a shortage of human labor to harvest some of our favorite fruits and vegetables? Strawberry growers are so worried about the farmworker shortage that they're testing a strawberry-picking robot. But while picking strawberries is easy for humans, machines struggle with the task.  The website shows an up-close video with the robot working, pretty cool, but needs some refining!

The Quest For the Whole Enchilada 
This lesson utilizes a process learning model to recognize how the Columbian Exchange and early Spanish explorers impacted the culture and cuisine of the Southwest United States. Students will participate in a food lab to make enchiladas and learn about the production of each ingredient.
The Preservation Power of Honey
In this lesson for grades 9-12, students will expand their knowledge of microbial growth and scientific food preservation methods to learn how honey can serve as an antibacterial agent. Students will learn how honey may be used as a preservative of milk in areas without access to electricity or refrigeration and how this preservation method relies on elements found specifically in honey that cannot be replicated with other sources of sugar. 
Filling the Global Grocery Bag
Did you know people in developing countries spend the highest percentage of their income (over 40%) on food? In this lesson, students will learn what factors affect a country's ability to produce their own food and how food expenses differ throughout the world. This lesson is recommended for grades 9-12.  
March Book Nook
Wild Rose's Weaving
In this book by Ginger Churchill, Rose's grandmother wants to teach Rose how to weave, but Rose is enjoying the beautiful day outside far too much to come in and learn. It is not until Grandma shows Rose how she has woven the elements of nature into her rug that Rose wants to create a rug of her own. But now Grandma has spied a rainbow. Hand in hand, she and Rose head outside, and the next day, that rainbow reappears in Rose's own rug. 
You're Aboard Spaceship Earth
This attractive picture book enlarges on the metaphor "spaceship Earth," explaining that just as the space shuttle carries all the food, water, and oxygen the astronauts need, Earth carries all the food (minerals), water, and oxygen we need. It demonstrates the water, mineral, and oxygen cycles, showing that Earth makes a great spaceship, but tells readers that "our job is to keep it that way."
The Hungry Planet
In this book families were asked to purchase a typical week's groceries, which were artfully arrayed for a full-page family portrait. A detailed listing of the goods, broken down by food groups and expenditures are shown, then a more general discussion of how the food is raised and used, illustrated with a variety of photos and a family recipe. While the photos are extraordinary-fine enough for a stand-alone volume-it's the questions these photos ask that make this volume so gripping. Try pairing this book with the Hunger and Malnutrition lesson. 
New York Agriculture in the Classroom |
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