New York Agriculture in the Classroom | October 2022

Call for Nominations for NYAITC

Teacher of the Year Award

Do you know an amazing educator or team of educators who integrate agriculture in their curriculum? The New York Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year nomination period is now open. This top honor is awarded annually to a teacher, or a team of teachers, who are committed to teaching through the lens of agriculture. 

The the top nominee(s) will earn an expense-paid trip to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Nominations or self nominations are due by 5pm on Monday, November 21, 2022. 

Nominate a Teacher


Still Growing Poetry Contest Entries Due

OCT 20

Top Cut Virtual Field Trip with Chef Alex

OCT 21

Grow-NY Youth Contest Submissions Due

NOV 21

Teacher of the Year Nominations Due

Announcing the 2023 Agricultural Literacy Week Book

New York Agriculture in the Classroom is pleased to share that "Tomatoes for Neela" by Padma Lakshmi has been selected as the 2023 Agricultural Literacy Week book!

Tomatoes for Neela is truly a celebration of food and family. Paired with Juana Martinez-Neal's illustrations, which adds warmth and softness to the story, Lakshmi's storytelling shows how food can bring different generations together as well as provide opportunities for children to learn about different cultural traditions. This story encourages getting children into the kitchen at an early age so that they can not only develop a good relationship with food, but learn about math, geography, history, food sustainability, and about where our food comes from.

Learn More 

Agricultural Literacy week will take place  March 20-24, 2023.

Upcoming NYAITC In-Person Professional Development Opportunities

New York Agriculture in the Classroom is offering TWO in-person professional development opportunities this month. Both events are free to attend, will include lunch, resources, and CTLE credit. 

On October 14, we will host a dairy-focused professional development at Trinity Valley Dairy with Broome CCE. 

On October 21, we will focus on an art and agriculture theme at Pitney Meadows Community Farm. 

Learn More and Register

Top Cut Beef Contest

In 2019, schools served over 4.8 billion lunches to children nationwide. School lunch is a time where students can gather together over nutritionally balanced meals and maybe even try something new. The theme of this year's Top Cut: Beef Contest embraces the familiarity of school lunch, but will allow students to add their own creative twist. 

The Top Cut: Beef Contest is an engaging 3-12 cross-curricular educational and culinary experience. Participating students will design a beef recipe focused on the theme of school lunch and then develop a creative marketing strategy for their product. New York Agriculture in the Classroom and New York Beef Council are excited to offer this contest for the sixth year. 

Learn More 

Contest submissions are due December 2, 2022. 

Pre-registration includes access to a cook-along Virtual Field Trip with Chef Alex!

Win $2,000 in the Grow-NY Youth Competition!

In partnership with Grow-NY, Cornell University, NYS 4-H, and New York Agriculture in the Classroom, we are pleased to share an exciting updated youth opportunity to build businesses in New York State.

Our youth are the next generation of business developers, agriculture, food, and technology leaders. With the hope of inspiring and investing in the future of food, outstanding middle and high school youth will be selected to attend the 2022 Grow-NY competition and pitch their business idea to a panel of youth judges.

The Grow-NY competition will take place November 15-16, 2022 in Syracuse, NY. Applications are due October 21, 2022 by 5:00pm EST. The first place winner will receive $2,000 and product development assistance. 

Learn More and Apply

DEADLINE EXTENDED! National Agriculture in the Classroom Seeking Workshop Proposals for 2023 National Conference in Florida

The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization is now accepting workshop proposals for the 2023 National Conference "Beyond The Beaches" set for Orlando, Florida, June 27-30, 2023. 

This premier professional development event for Pre-K through 12th-grade teachers, volunteers, and professionals in agricultural literacy will provide tools, techniques, and inspiration to include food and agriculture as a lens for learning. We encourage you to submit a proposal if you have lessons and resources to share!


Proposals must demonstrate how the workshop uses agricultural concepts to meet the National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes (NALOs) and teach reading, writing, math, nutrition, science, STEM, social studies and other subject areas. Proposals must reach elementary, middle school, high school, or all grade levels.

The selected workshop's primary presenter will receive $50 off their conference registration. Applicants will be notified in December of workshop selections.

Learn More and Submit a Proposal by October 14

Exploring Dairy Science at Cornell 

The Cornell University Dairy Science Club will be hosting an event for high school or college students who are interested in Cornell (ages 16 to 19).

This event will focus on learning about what the campus has to offer in the dairy science area and how the program can benefit students. The program will be on October 22nd. Interested participants and families should register by October 14.


Featured Lessons

Grades K-2

Pumpkins... Not Just For Halloween

In this lesson, students will estimate the size and weight of pumpkins, sprout pumpkin seeds, and make pumpkin pie in a bag.

 Teach this Lesson 

Grades 3-5

Wild Rice

Students explore the life cycle of wild rice, compare the steps of the traditional Native wild rice harvest with a cultivated wild rice harvest, and create their own wild rice bowls.

Teach this Lesson

Grades 9-12

Bring Home the Blue, Not the Flu!

Using the context of a county fair livestock show, students investigate how diseases are spread. With a focus on zoonotic disease, students will complete simulations demonstrating the spread of illness and implementation of biosecurity measures. 

Teach this Lesson

October Book Nook

Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious

Chef Alice Waters has always been friends with food. The search for good food led Alice Waters to France, and then back to Berkeley, California, where she started Chez Panisse restaurant and the Edible Schoolyard. For Alice, a delicious meal does not start in the kitchen, but in the fields with good soil and caring farmers.

Read this Book

Homespun Sarah

Sarah's life in Colonial Pennsylvania is anything but easy. She and her family have to grow, raise, and make everything they need—including their clothes. The time and effort that takes means that nothing is replaced until it's absolutely necessary. As Sarah helps plant flax and raise sheep throughout the year, her one dress gets tighter and tighter. But in the nick of time, wool is spun, fabric is woven, and a brand-new dress is made just for her.

Read this Book

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