The Empire Educator
A newsletter for New York's educators interested and committed to teaching through agriculture
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Share how you are celebrating National Farm to School Month by using the hashtags #F2Smonth and #farmtoschool
Upcoming Events

October 22:
North Country World Food Day Youth Summit
Join students from across Northern New York to meet and discuss food, agriculture, and hunger issues and develop action plans to solve these issues in their communities. Learn more from their website.
October 30:
Teacher of the Year Nominations Due
Nominate yourself or an amazing teacher you know for this top honor. Learn more and submit an application here.

November 16:
NYFB Scholarships Due
Encourage a senior you know to apply!

December 4:
Kids Growing Food Mini Grant Due
Start or continue your school garden with funding from NYAITC. Apply on our website today. 

New York Agriculture in the Classroom                                                    October 2015
Teacher of the Year - Deadline Extended!
Lisa Byers, 2015 Teacher of the Year
Each year, NYAITC recognizes an outstanding New York elementary or secondary school teacher (or team of teachers) who uses agricultural education materials and/or activities in the classroom to such an extent as to merit our top award. If you or someone you know is an amazing educator who integrates agriculture into their classrooms nominate yourself/them today! 

The application deadline has been extended! Please submit your application, or nominate an excellent teacher, by Friday, October 30, 2015. For more information or to submit an application,  visit our website

Kids Growing Food - School Garden Grants
The Kids Growing Food Mini Grant was started with the intent to increasestudents' understanding and appreciation for nutrition, agriculture, and the environment.  School gardens are an excellent tool to help integrate these elements into the curriculum and to create an exciting learning experience for students. 

Apply  for a Kids Growing Food Mini Grant and your school could receive support and materials to help start, or continue, your school's garden. These mini grants are offered by NYAITC and applications are due December 4, 2015. Learn more about the mini and apply today.

October is Farm to School Month!
Every October, we are joined by hundreds of schools, preschools and organizations across the county to celebrate the connections happening between children and local food.

Farm to School Month is a time to recognize the educational, economic, environmental and public health benefits of farm to school. From taste tests in the cafeteria and nutrition education activities in the classroom, to farm visits and school garden harvest parties, communities in all 50 states and D.C. will be joining in to share the important message that farm to school is a win for kids, farmers and communities.

Connect with teachers and others across the country by using the hashtags #F2Smonth and #farmtoschool on social media all this month!
NY Farm Bureau Scholarships for 
High School Seniors
The New York Farm Bureau Promotion & Education Committee is encouraging high school seniors who have been involved with agriculture and plan on continuing studies in this field to apply for the 2015 New York Farm Bureau Agricultural Youth Scholarship sponsored by the New York Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Committee. 

Scholarship awards are $1,500 for first place $1,200 for second and $1,000 for third place.  District winners will each receive $100 and a memento. County winners are recognized at the discretion of their County Farm Bureau.

The Application Deadline is  November 16th, 2015 , applications are to be submitted via fillable pdf available here . Please encourage your students to take advantage of this opportunity!

Complete information and eligibility requirements for this scholarship is available here. 
Educator Resources
Lesson of the Month!
Are your students abuzz about pumpkins? Certainly later this month their interested will be piqued with Halloween approaching. Teach them that Pumpkins aren't just for Halloween! Check out these lessons available for any subject and any student.
By incorporating one or many of these lessons in your classroom, s tudents will learn a variety of subjects including history, science, nutrition, and math through the study of pumpkins. 

*Did you know you can find more lessons like this with ease? Check out the Ag Literacy Curriculum Matrix here at our website!
Plan a Virtual Field Trip to Longwood Gardens
As the weather becomes cooler and the leaves begin to turn, it's time to start thinking about plans for this year. Consider enhancing your curriculum with a live, interactive virtual field trip with Longwood experts. Our trained Educators deliver lessons directly into your classroom, engaging your students in discussion and problem-solving as they explore topics through video, images, and hands-on activities.
The program offers lessons suited to any curriculum for grades K-12. Easily adaptable to your classroom, this virtual trip is sure to excite your students and enhance their learning without ever leaving the classroom. 
For more information or to register for your "trip" please visit their website here.
2015 Harvesting  Opportunities  in New York Conference
November 4th at the Empire State Plaza in Albany

We know it's important to buy local food for our homes, but why stop there? Our elementary and high schools, colleges and other institutions feed millions of New Yorkers each day and can also benefit from sourcing food locally.  
Please join us at the  Harvesting Opportunities in New York 2015 conferenceNovember 4th at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, for engaging workshops and panel discussions with people who care about New York agriculture. Learn, network and work with people who want to grow local food economies, protect farmland from development, promote environmental stewardship on farms, and support the next generation of farmers.

To learn about our other conference tracks and details of the event, please visit our  conference webpage. Register now to reserve your spot at this special event for New York agriculture.
Looking for a Good Book?
If you are looking for a book to read to your class, we recommend Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell. There is no better book to read than one about two popular harvest items during this time of the year! Follow a young girl's journey to seek out the perfect apple and pumpkin. Going along for the journey, your students will learn where food comes from, especially that it doesn't magically appear in the grocery store.

If you are looking for a book to enjoy yourself, check out 40 Chances by
 Howard G. Buffett. If someone granted you $3 billion to accomplish something great in the world, what would you do? In 2006, le g enda ry investor Warren Buffett posed this challenge to his son Howard G. Buffett. Howard set out to help the most vulnerable people on earth-nearly a billion individuals who lack basic food security. And Howard gave himself a deadline: 40 years to put the resources to work on this challenge. Follow  Howard's  journey to solve world issues through 40 inspiring, enlightening stories.