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Monthly news & updates
March 2023 | Issue #138
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Read ME Agriculture 2023
Our 2023 Read ME Agriculture book, "Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera" will be read in up to 1,000 classrooms this month! We are so excited for this fabulous book to be read all across our state!

For teachers and volunteers that are participating, check out this Resource Guide we put together. It's filled with links to organizations, information, activities, kits, lessons, (and much more!) to accompany the Honeybee book.
Upcoming Opportunities!
Earn continuing education contact hours as part of this FREE series focused on incorporating Maine's forests into the classroom. Each participant will receive an access code for Project Learning Tree's standards-aligned environmental education curriculum guide. 
Spring Schedule:
  • March 14 – Our Changing Forests
  • April 11 – Forest Conservation and Recreation
The NH Farm to School and the NH School & Youth Garden networks are hosting their 2023 Webinar Series for teachers, schools, and educators from across New England covering a variety of farm to school and school garden topics.

Upcoming webinars include:

  • Funding School Gardens - March 16, 3:30-4:30PM
  • Gardening with Games and the Arts - April 6, 3:30-4:30PM

Maine School Garden Day
Join us Saturday, May 13 at Reeds Brook Middle School in Hampden, ME!
School Gardens–Connecting the Whole School Community

This year Maine School Garden Day will focus on the 3 C’s: Classroom, Cafeteria, and Community. There will be time for community connections, local procurement discussions, tours of the grounds and various garden workshops!

The day will culminate with an AWESOME Raffle to benefit MSGN!

Summer Teacher's Institute 2023
Here's what previous participants have said when asked about the quality of trainers at our Summer Teacher's Institute:
Register Today for the
Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Summer Teacher's Institute!
July 31 - August 4, 2023 at
University of Maine at Presque Isle

28 Contact Hours or 2.8 CEU’s.
Scholarships are available!
Space is limited so register early!
Learn more on our website!
Dr. Philip Fanning will be a returning presenter, back by popular demand! Dr. Fanning is a University of Maine Assistant Professor of Agricultural Entomology and a fantastic resource on bees and pollination!
Russell Libby Agricultural Scholar Awards
Apply for a Russell Libby Agricultural Scholar Award!
Three $1,500 scholarships are awarded each year in the following categories:
  • Teacher, school or education center looking to support an agricultural related project in Maine, such as a campus garden, classroom project or a guest lecturer.
  • Maine high school senior planning to study sustainable or organic farming (preference for colleges in Maine).
  • MOFGA Journeyperson Program participant who is still farming in Maine (past or present participants welcome, and fiber and flower farmers are also welcome to apply).

The deadline for 2023 applications is March 31st. Learn more and apply here.

Awards are granted to honor the late Russell Libby, who led the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association for 17 years and dedicated his life to growing the organic food movement. The scholarships offer support to students seeking to deepen their knowledge of organic and sustainable farm systems. For further information about Russell Libby Agricultural Scholarships, contact Anna Libby.
Be Our Next Teacher Feature!!
We LOVE to feature outstanding teachers in Maine who are incorporating agriculture into their classroom!

Highlighting the great work teachers are doing across the state inspires all of us and sparks new ideas for grants, projects, and partnerships! 

Fill out this questionnaire to be our next Teacher Feature!!
Applications are Open for the Maine Farm and Sea to School Institute!
The Maine Farm & Sea to School Institute is a year-long professional opportunity for Maine schools/districts to develop a Farm and Sea to School (FSTS) program. Schools receive a year of technical support from Maine's experts and participate in a 3-day Academy Program July 24th-26th, 2023 at The Ecology School.
Apply by March 15th.
Maine 4-H Agriculture Leadership Program Offered in 2023
University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H is offering its Agriculture Leadership Ambassador program from March 7–April 18. The program, open to all teens ages 14–18, will focus on understanding the Maine food system, exploring careers, and building advocacy skills. 

As formal agricultural programs at local high schools disappear, students lack opportunities to learn about critical food systems and discover careers in agriculture. The 4-H Agriculture Leadership program seeks to provide teens with opportunities to consider a future in agriculture and connect with others who have similar goals. Additional details about the program can be found on the program website.
Participants in the program will gain leadership experiences, explore career pathways and investigate current issues around food systems including, food equity, livestock, crop sciences and aquaculture. This program is open to all Maine youth; 4-H membership is not required for participation.
The program will begin with a series of online learning and will conclude with an in-person visit to the UMaine campus in Orono. The spring 2023 cohort will meet from 3:30–5 p.m. on Tuesday afternoons from March 7–April 18, with an in-person celebratory luncheon in Orono on April 20.
To register, visit the event website. For more information or to request reasonable accommodation, contact Sadee Mehuren.
Maine Nutrition Council Events & Opportunities
The Lifelong Learner Award
The intent of this award is to foster growth and development of Maine Nutrition Council members within their established nutrition, food or health career. 
This is an award of up to $1000 to a current Maine Nutrition Council member to participate in a nutrition and/or food related professional development program (ex. conference, course). Apply by April 28th. More info here.

The Katherine O. Musgrave Award
The purpose of the Katherine O. Musgrave Public Service Award is to recognize an individual, organization or collaborations for outstanding work in nutrition policy, education, or research. Nominate someone or apply by April 28th. More info here.

The Maine Nutrition Council annually awards $500 scholarships to eligible college students. Applications are due April 28th. For more information on eligibility & applications, click here.
Spring Event (VIRTUAL):
Thursday, April 6, 2023 | 2-4pm
Learn about fiber and prebiotics for gut health with medical nutrition therapist, FODMAP expert, and author, Patsy Catsos

Annual Conference (in-person):
Friday, June 23, 2023 | 8am - 4pm
Falmouth Elementary School
"Eating for the Earth"
Themes including: Farm to institution, holistic and herbal medicine, sustainable agriculture, and the benefits of eating locally and in season.
More details and registration in the coming months.
Purple Plow Pollinator Challenge
Challenge Question: What can we do to sustain or improve pollinator well-being?

Entries are due May 1st!

The Spring 2023 Purple Plow Challenge is here!
Pollinator populations are shrinking, and several factors are contributing to this disturbing global trend. There are growing concerns as to what the impact will be on food production. Through this challenge, students will become more aware of the important role pollinators play in our daily lives and how to help protect the various populations. After thoughtful research, students will design, test and demonstrate a solution that will sustain or improve pollinator well-being.
Harvest of the Month - March is Maine Protein!
Check out our Protein Resource Page for lessons, activities, books, and more!

Click here for the great Harvest of the Month (HOM) materials - posters, fact sheets, recipes, social media promo, and more!

Search the Ag Literacy Curriculum Matrix for even MORE resources!

All of our HOM Resource Pages can be found on our Teach ME site under "Teaching Units"
Teacher Resources Section
From Sap to Syrup. Grades K-2. Students will recognize how geography and climate allow for the growth of maple trees and the process of making syrup. They will identify the characteristics of maple trees that produce the best sap for making maple syrup and name the steps in the process of creating syrup from sap.

PancakesGrades K-2Grades 3-5. Students will describe the physical properties of materials and observe physical and chemical changes as they learn about the ingredients in pancakes and how maple syrup is harvested from trees.

Tapping into Maple Tradition. Lessons for Grades K-12. Tapping into Maple Tradition digs deeper into maple sugar production to uncover a wide variety of core academic concepts. Botany, chemistry, history, economics, math, nutrition, language arts and engineering are all key components. "Tapping Into Maple Tradition" enhances these educational areas with hands-on, STEM focused activities reinforcing the learning process.

Growing Aspirations - Sweet! Grades 9-12. This lesson’s focus is on large concepts such as Habits of Minds, Food Systems of Maine, and Agribusiness. The unit may include lessons on other aspects of the standard such as positive self- concept, and the personal interests and skills lessons.

Looking for more? Explore the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix HERE
Check out some of these great books about Maple!

Don't forget that all SIX of our Agriculture for ME books are available to read online!
Activities & Resources
School Maple Sugaring Group. Consider joining this Facebook group to share ideas and successes related to making maple syrup in a school setting.

Maple Syrup Ag Mag. From New Hampshire Ag in the Classroom. Check out this online reader with a bunch of great info on Maple Syrup!

Maine Maple Producers Association. Check out their website for a map of sugarhouses, events, recipes, and other maple info!

Southern Maine Maple Sugarmakers Association. Find a sugarhouse near you, learn some great Maple 101 facts.

UMaine Cooperative Extension Maple Resources. Expertise and resources to help large-scale and small-scale maple syrup producers, including how-to videos (when to tap a maple tree, how to tap a maple tree, etc).
Maple Curriculum Support: Tapping into Maple Tradition - Lessons for K-12 Classrooms.

Looking for field trips? Check out Real 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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