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Monthly news & updates
November 2021 | Issue #122
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Our Dairy Farming for ME book is available on our website. You will also find lessons and other activities to go along with it! More dairy resources can be found on our Dairy Harvest of the Month Resource Page, as well as through a search on the Ag Literacy Curriculum Matrix.
You can view a recording of the recent Maine Farm to School Network Dairy Farmer Panel here, and access the accompanying Maine Dairy to School Resource Packet.
MAITC is pleased to announce another brand new Maine virtual fieldtrip video “Dynamic Dairy” with Jenni Tilton-Flood as your host. After watching the 10 minute video Pre-K to 12th grade classrooms may schedule a ZOOM visit with Jenni to answer students’ questions! Sessions will be available from December 1 – 16, 2021 or later in January 2022.
To schedule email: 
From A total of 50 programs will be awarded Youth Garden Grants in 2022. All winning programs will receive a check for $250, and materials to grow their garden program.
Forty programs will receive packages worth $1,050, five programs will receive the base package plus a $1,000 tool grant from Corona Tools, and five programs will receive the base package plus two Garden Towers from Garden Tower Project!
Applications are due December 17, 2021. More information here.
ALL CATEGORIES are open for our December 13th deadline! Are you looking for funding to do more ag in your classroom?! Apply today!

More info and applications are available on the website.
Deadline: December 13th.
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.
MSGN Annual Meeting "Literacy Connections to the Garden"
Join us the first Saturday of November (November 6th) from 8-9:30am for the MSGN virtual annual meeting, "Literacy Connections to the Garden," which will double as the final installment in our series of Maine School Garden Days. This session will focus on ways to connect your school garden with your literacy curriculum, no matter the age range of your classroom. Check out the event agenda. We will also have a PUMPKIN PANCAKES cooking demo that you can choose to participate in if you'd like! Additional instructions for the cooking demo here. Each registrant will receive a zoom link before the session. We look forward to seeing you! Register here.
Fall Agricultural Leadership Ambassador Program
UMaine Extension 4-H created this program to provide agricultural education and leadership experiences to Maine youth ages 14-18. Youth involved in this program will have opportunities to pursue their interest in agriculture and explore career pathways. This includes mentoring in post-secondary opportunities, as well as sparking a passion to investigate and explore current issues around food systems, livestock, crop sciences, aquaculture, climate issues impacting food systems, food equity, and more. There is not a requirement to have previous 4-H membership, this program is open to all Maine youth with an interest.
These opportunities will begin with a creation of an online learning community and will also include in-person experiences across the state and on the UMaine Campus.
The program will be virtual with options for limited in-person activities. The program will run on Tuesday afternoons from November 2nd to December 14th from 3:30-4:45 pm. Current University of Maine guidelines will be followed for all in-person events.
To get more information and to register, please visit this website!
New Middle School Lessons!
Dairy Council’s flagship school program, Fuel Up to Play 60, is pleased to announce the introduction of classroom Learning Plan lessons for the 2021-22 school year. Available on Learning Plan | Fuel Up To Play 60, these lessons will help middle school students discover more about staying active and healthy, being mindful and pitching in to the make the planet greener. Each set includes lessons, educator resources, and different student activities/assignments, and will:
  • Focus on agriculture and environmental sustainability.
  • Emphasize STEM learning, including Health, Science, Agriculture and SEL topics.
  • Align with national standards for grades 6-8 in science, social emotional learning, and health education.
  • Incorporate a high degree of individual goal-setting, responsible decision-making, and mindfulness.
The first two Learning Plan lessons are now available:
Back To School Gardens
Each month we will be including more information on the Back to School Gardens Concept. (Read about the grant award in our October Newsletter).
The “Back to School Garden” technique is designed to fit the school calendar. It features vegetables that students can help plant in the spring that require very minimal maintenance and watering over the summer and will then produce a great harvest of winter squash, sunflowers and popping corn just in time for students to come back to school in the fall. It also prevents weeds and improves soil quality. After harvesting the garden in September, we are encouraging schools to then plant a fall garden of kale, chard, lettuce, peas and herb seedlings to grow for the cafeteria. You can find a step by step guide to the Back to School Garden Program on the ReTreeUS website.
UMaine’s Building Agricultural Literacy Through an Immersive Culinary Experience Grant Update 
University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s initiative to build agricultural literacy through an immersive culinary experience for career and technical education (CTE) culinary arts instructors is underway! Culinary Arts programs at ten of Maine’s high school Career Technical Education programs will participate in classroom lessons led by Kathy Savoie, University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator and professor and Rob Dumas, UMaine food science pilot plant manager. 

Students, as emerging food industry professionals, and CTE culinary arts instructors will participate in hands-on classroom and kitchen activities to learn about seasonal and local foods in Maine. Through a project-based learning activity students will be challenged to imagine, identify, create, and present a novel menu item. Agricultural literacy goals include increasing both student and instructor knowledge and proficiency related to enhancing the connectedness between agriculture and food service.  For more information, contact Kathy Savoie.
Maine Farm to School Institute!
The Maine Farm to School Network has received funding to support the launch of a 2022-2023 Maine Farm to School Institute! In partnership with 15+ collaborating partners across the network, modeled after the Northeast Farm to School Institute at Shelburne Farms, and spearheaded by Falmouth Schools Nutrition Director & MFSN Leadership Council member Martha Poliquin, the Institute will be an opportunity for 6 Maine schools/districts to build a robust farm to school program. More information coming soon.

2022 Maine Farm to School Institute current funders:
Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program grant no. 2021-70026-35911 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

To get involved in Institute planning or financially support the Institute launch, contact MFSN coordinator at
Harvest of the Month - November is Maine Brassicas!

Check out our Brassicas 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.

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
Little Red Hen. Grades K-2. Students use the story The Little Red Hen to investigate wheat production and bread making. Students thresh their own wheat and grind it into flour to make bread.

A Walnut Orchard Through the Seasons. Grades K-2. Students discover the changes that take place in a walnut orchard through the seasons by reading and discussing a story about a walnut farm.

A Rafter of TurkeysGrades 3-5. Students will learn about the domestication and life cycle of the turkey, recognize how turkeys are raised on farms, and identify turkey products.

How Weather Impacts a Farm. Grades 3-5. Students explore different types of weather and discover how weather conditions can impact farms.

Cracking Open the Story of Nuts. Grades 3-5. Students investigate a variety of nuts, discover how and where they are grown, and explore their nutritional benefits.

In a Nutshell. Grades 3-5. The students will explore pecan production from farm to fork, simulate the process of grafting, and create a nutritious snack.

Right This Very Minute. Grades 3-5. Students read Right This Very Minute—a table-to-farm book about food production and farming—and diagram the path of production for a processed product, study a map to discover where different commodities are grown, and write a thank-you letter to farmers in their local community.

The Geography of Thanksgiving DinnerGrades 6-8Grades 9-12. In this lesson 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.

Looking for more? Explore the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix HERE
Activities & Resources
UMaine Cooperative Extension Cranberry Resources for Educators. Vocab, puzzles, worksheets, language arts, activities, and more! Check out these great resources about cranberries from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Poultry Reader. This printable four-page reader is packed with information about chickens, turkeys, and other poultry. Use this reader to share information about the parts of an egg, poultry-related careers, the diets of chickens, and more. 

Cranberry Bounce. A great video to celebrate Thanksgiving. See an enactment of the first North American Thanksgiving at Plymouth. Watch children put on hip waders and go chest high into the bog during the fall cranberry harvest. Cranberry Bounce introduces children to the seasons on a cranberry farm. Along the way, they learn about the biology of cranberry reproduction, geography of cranberry growing areas, some cranberry recipes, and cranberry decorations.
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"  
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