New York Agriculture in the Classroom | November 2019
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Important Dates:

Dec. 13- Farm to School Grant Applications Due

Dec. 15 - Maple Royalty Pageant Applications Due

Jan. 3- Grow with Us Grant Applications Due

Jan. 3-4 - Mid-Winter Maple Classic

Jan. 6- Jr. Iron Chef Registration Opens
Grow With Us Grant: Sprouting Inspiration for Third Year
In an effort to connect students with food and recognize deserving classrooms, New York Agriculture in the Classroom is again awarding grow systems through the Grow With Us Grant for the third consecutive year. 

The  Grow with Us Grant allows schools to apply for  three types of grow systems. Schools should apply for the grow system that would best meet their educational goals, classroom space needs, and consider their experience level in school gardening and curriculum integration. 

New York Agriculture in the Classroom aspires to provide teachers the vehicle and tools to facilitate experiential-learning using agriculture as the context for learning. $70,000 will be invested in this grant programs.

Applications are open now and due Friday, January 3, 2020.   Visit our website to learn more about the eligibility requirements, view photos of the featured grow systems, and apply for the grant.
2019 Farm to School Grant Applications Open 
The FY 2020 Farm to School Grant Request for Applications is now available for schools and other eligible groups to apply. The USDA will award up to $10 million in competitive grants to eligible entities through the Farm to School Grant Program in fiscal year 2020. Each grant helps implement Farm to School programs that increase access to local food in schools, providing students with quality meals at a reasonable cost while also supporting local producers. 

For more information, visit grants.govApplications are due by December 13, 2019
North Country Jr. Iron Chef Competition 
Starting January 6, 2020 schools in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Franklin, Clinton, Essex, and Hamilton counties can register online for the North Country Jr. Iron Chef competition.  North Country Jr. Iron Chef is a competition for teams of regional  middle and high school students  to develop and prepare tasty, healthy recipes  which could be realistically prepared in a school cafeteria. 

Register and learn more at
Maple Royalty Pageant Seeking Applicants
The New York State Maple Royalty program is seeking applicants between the ages of 15-21 who are passionate about maple products for the Maple King and Queen pageant in January.  Contestants need not be experienced in the maple industry but should be willing to learn about the industry and interested in promoting maple to the general public.

Interested contestants should contact pageant director Laurie Jean Britton at 315- 717-6288 or for an application, questions or additional information.  Applications are due by  December 15, 2019
Agricultural Literacy Grant Spotlight
Heather Feris- Bolivar Richburg Elementary School
"Kindness Butterfly Garden"

Ms. Ferris is coming up with unique ways to embed kindness into her student's everyday lives. Her next project is to teach students kindness through working together to complete a kindness butterfly garden. 
Recently, elementary students worked with high school students to plant flower seeds to add to the garden. They taught students how to test the pH levels of the soil, how to plant plants, what foods come from plants, what plants need to grow, and how to make seed bombs. The class currently has seeds under a grow light and are comparing the growth time and health of a plain seed compared to a seed bomb.
Their next phase is to begin to assemble the garden. Students will be gathering small stones to paint to decorate the garden, local nurseries volunteered to donate a plant or two, and some high school students have volunteered to make a welcoming sign for the garden. They will be using their Agricultural Literacy Grant funds to teach students and other teachers through literature how to plant, maintain, and sustain a garden. 
Their outcomes include planting, maintaining and sustaining a garden that will teach students in grades Pre-K-5 a love for various types of gardens. They hope that by planting a successful butterfly garden, it will spark interest in students to eventually plant a vegetable garden, herb garden, and some fruit trees at the school and possibly at home.

Learn more about the Agricultural Literacy Grant and view the other recipients on our  website
Teacher Resources
Connecting Industry to Classrooms
Looking to bring more real-world career connections into your classroom? Nepris connects educators and learners with a network of industry professionals, virtually, bringing real-world relevance and career exposure to all students. Request a virtual guest speaker from an industry of choice or browse the archived videos
Elementary Resources
This Little Pig
Students will learn basic information about pigs and the products they provide through reading the book, Pigs, by Gail Gibbons, completing a worksheet, and participating in a class activity. This lesson is best for students in grades Kindergarten-2. 
The class will create a worm bin which will serve as a basis for investigations about ecosystems, life and nutrient cycles, and decomposition. This lesson is available for grades K-2 and grades 3-5
A Rafter of Turkeys
Students in grades 3-5 will enjoy learning about the domestication and life cycle of the turkey, recognizing how turkeys are raised on farms, and identifying turkey products in this lesson.

Let's Raise a Barn
Students will 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 in this lesson for grades 3-5. 
Middle School/ High School Resources
The Geography of Thanksgiving Dinner
In this lesson, students in grades 6-8 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.
Aeroponic Engineering and Vertical Farming
Students will use the Engineering Design Process to develop and construct an aeroponic garden to grow a food crop. Students will develop and apply an understanding of plant anatomy and physiology related to plant growth and ultimately discuss the possibilities and limitations of using vertical farming to produce our food. This lesson is for students in grades 6-8 and grades 9-12
What's New on the Nutrition Facts Label?
In this lesson, students will be introduced to the redesigned Nutrition Facts label being implemented from 2016-2020, navigate and decipher the Nutrition Facts label, use food labels to determine nutritive value of foods, and define terminology found on the label such as calories, nutrients, and servings.
Farming without chemicals: Pesticide-carrying bees
Can pesticide-carrying bees play a role in sustainable pest management and revolutionize agriculture? While GMO controversy rages, a handful of companies are taking another innovative approach to crop protection to decrease pesticide use by 50-75 percent. Check out the Biotech Facts and Fallacies podcast to learn about this EPA-approved pest control system. 
September Book Nook
Time for Cranberries
From the cranberry bog to the Thanksgiving table, join Sam and his family as they harvest a classic American fruit. This charming, lyrical picture book follows Sam and his family as they raise the water in the bog, pick the cranberries, and gather the fruit for processing. This book is a great companion to the Cranberry Bounce video which introduces children to the seasons on a cranberry farm. 
Eating the Plates
A fascinating slice of American history,  Eating the Plates  describes the customs, manners, and eating habits of the Pilgrims. From the hardships of the settlers' first years in the wilderness, to their eventual success in farming and hunting, the reader is immersed in the sights, sounds, and smells of life in Plymouth. 
Dust Bowl Diary
This is the diary of a young girl and includes her true account of the dust bowl. The book provides details and some humor.  It would be great literature to accompany "Grapes of Wrath' or a class studying the dust bowl years in American History.
New York Agriculture in the Classroom |
3rd Floor Kennedy Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853