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Monthly news & updates
May 2022 | Issue #128
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We Have a National Award Winner!!!
Abby Plummer, fifth and sixth grade teacher at Edna Drinkwater School and our 2021 MAITC Teacher of the Year, is a 2022 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award WINNER!

The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO), U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) and Farm Credit partner each year to honor teachers in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade (Pre-K-12) from around the country for the innovative ways they use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies, STEM, STEAM and more.

Abby will be recognized at the National Agriculture in the Classroom conference in Saratoga Springs this June. CONGRATULATIONS Abby!
Maine School Garden Day! THIS SATURDAY!
We're looking forward to Maine School Garden Day happening THIS SATURDAY, May 7th, at Connors Elementary School in Lewiston!
Only a few days left to register!
Could your school garden benefit from a Six-Row Seeder? (donated by Johnny's Selected Seeds and pictured here)
Register for Maine School Garden Day and you could WIN ONE!
UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Building Agricultural Literacy Through an Immersive Culinary Experience Grant Update 
The griddles and ovens are now turned off at the UMaine Food Pilot Plant and Commercial Kitchen but the scents linger from the first Local Food Competition for CTE Culinary Arts Programs. On April 28, seven teams from five Maine Career & Technical Education High School Culinary Arts Programs competed to demonstrate their skills in preparing local, seasonal Maine foods. The emphasis on Maine grown and processed food helps students better understand agricultural literacy and gain knowledge about the role that the food industry can play in supporting Maine agriculture. 
Brody McLaughlin and Nicholas Hardy were awarded winners from Region 2 School of Applied Technology in Houlton. Teams from Capital Area Technical Center in Augusta and Northern Penobscot Tech placed 2nd and 3rd. Watch for more information to come.

Continue to Save the Date for the Immersive Culinary Arts Summer Institute, July 25-28, 2022. A professional development opportunity specifically designed for Maine High School CTE Culinary Arts Instructors. For more information, contact Kathy Savoie at:
BUZZ-Worthy Pollinator Resources!
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Pollinator-Friendly Garden Certification
The pollinator program was developed to help educate the community on the importance of pollinators by certifying gardens as pollinator-friendly. The program focuses on providing food with native plant species as we know that natives help maintain biodiversity and support pollinators. The program is available to private, public, schools, municipalities and businesses.
The Buzz Game - My American Farm
Learn about honey and pollinators with The Buzz. In this game, fly down to Pollinatorville and take a ride with the hard working insects who perform a valuable service to all of nature.
Pollinator Pals
Little Seeds and KidsGardening have partnered to create "Pollinator Pal Profiles" for several pollinators including: Lesser Long-nose Bat, Bumblebee, Chocolate Midge, Mason Bee, Sphinx Moth, Yucca Moth, Flying fox bat, Honeybee, Ruby-throated hummingbird, Hoverfly, and Monarch Butterfly. You can learn fun facts about each pollinator and download the fact sheets and coloring pages!
The Power of Pollination Lessons
We have two awesome lessons on our Teach ME About Food & Farms site developed by ReTreeUS and First Light Wildlife Habitats. The lessons are for grades 5-6. In Lesson 1, "The Power of Pollination" Students will learn how pollination yields fruit via insect services. In Lesson 2, "Signs and Signals" Students will learn the variety of ways that flowers send messages to pollinators to ensure their own reproduction.
The Importance of Pollinators Videos
Pollinators are vitally important to agriculture, as well as our food system and ecosystems. They help thousands of flowering plants reproduce, from flowers to fruits and even some crops. Pollinator habitat can also provide benefits on the farm, such as preventing soil erosion and improving biodiversity. This video collection discusses the importance of pollinators and provides examples of the successful implementation of pollinator habitats on farmland.
The Ag Literacy Curriculum Matrix
The National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix is LOADED with resources for educators. And they are not lacking in the pollinator department! Search the matrix for lessons, books, activities, videos, kits, and more!
Announcing Maine Farm and Sea to School Institute 2022-2023 Participating Districts!
The Maine Farm to School Network housed at HCCA is launching Maine’s 1st Farm to School Institute in 2022-2023 modeled after the Northeast Farm to School Institute in VT, in partnership with UMaine School of Food and Agriculture and over 20 collaborating organizations and agencies. This year-long professional learning program will support school districts to develop a community-based, holistic farm & sea to school action plan to support local food purchasing, school gardens, food systems education, and more.
Congratulations to the first 4 teams for the 2022-2023 school year! Each of these applicants is poised to be a leader in farm and sea to school and will have robust middle and high school student engagement:
·   RSU 22 (Hampden, Newburgh, Winterport, & Frankfort);
·   RSU 89 (Katahdin Schools);
·   MSAD 17 (Oxford Hills); and
·   North Haven Community School (K-12) 
Learn more and explore the new Institute logo and branding at the Maine Farm to School Institute Webpage!
Pictured: Maine Farm to School Institute Planning Committee members touring The Ecology School at Riverbend Farm, the site of the August 2022 workshop program.
This project is supported by the Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program grant as well as 3 local foundations – learn more about sponsors and partners for this new program at HCCA Blog Post on the First Annual Maine Farm & Sea to School Institute.
Harvest of the Month - May is Maine Wild Blueberries!
Check out our Wild Blueberries 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"
Evaluation Reminder
Did you participate in our Read ME program this year? If so, we'd love to hear from you! Please complete this evaluation to help us continue to improve our program and ensure that it returns next year! Your feedback will be confidential to MAITC Staff. Thank you!

For lessons and activities to use with this book, check out our
Back To School Gardens - How To
More info on the Back to School Garden Program:
In this video, Richard Hodges of ReTreeUs shows us how to create a back to school garden for fall. Using three to four layers of craft paper, covered by 2 to 3 inches of quality cured compost, Richard plants some drought resistant Black Dakota popping corn and pumpkin seeds.
This provides a low maintenance summer garden to harvest when the kids come back too school in the fall.

Then you can plant cold hardy vegetables like kale, lettuce, chard and hardy herbs. Using row cover you can grow these through December providing nutrient dense greens for your schools cafeteria.
New Fuel Up to Play 60 Lessons & Resources!
There are four new Fuel Up to Play 60 Lessons that are fantastic resources for Middle School educators!
The four topics include:
  • Fuel Your Game Day
  • Farmers Fuel The World
  • Healthy Food, Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
  • Farmers Celebrate Earth Day Every Day
Each lesson:
  • Focuses on STEM learning, including Health, Science, Agriculture and SEL topics.
  • Aligns with national standards for grades 6-8 in science, social emotional learning, and health education.
  • Incorporates a high degree of individual goal-setting, responsible decision-making, and mindfulness.
  • Includes a focus on agriculture and environmental sustainability.

Here is the link to all four: Learning Plan | Fuel Up To Play 60

There is also a new Healthy Habits Tracker available for students on the Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Zone App. Students can journal their daily healthy habits, including mood, hours of sleep, minutes of physical activity and food groups consumed. It’s a great tool for educators trying to help students make the connection between agriculture and their health. Check it out in the app.
Teacher Resources Section
How Does Your Garden Grow? Grades K-2. Students discover the needs of a seed to germinate and the needs of a plant to grow while exploring the life stages of a flowering plant.

Get Growing. Grades 3-5. Students design a green bean planter and explore planting specifications for green bean seeds.

How Does Your Garden Grow? Grades 3-5. Students synthesize what they know about soils, plants, and the environment to plan a garden, present their plans, and explain why they made the decisions that they did.

Backpack Garden. Grades 3-5. Through project-based learning, students use school resources to construct and grow a school garden to supplement the school Backpack Program with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Plant Propagation. Grades 6-8. Students will learn about two types of plant propagation – seed planting (sexual) and stem cuttings (asexual) and recognize the genetic differences in these processes, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

Don't Forget the Eggs! Grades 9-12. Students will discover the five culinary functions of eggs by completing a cooking lab comparing recipes with and without eggs. Students will see how eggs leaven, bind, thicken, coat, and emulsify our foods.

Looking for more? Explore the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix HERE
Activities & Resources
Purple Plow Challenge. We need food to survive. But food security is a problem around the world, and at home. Get creative as you design a sustainable living environment for aquatic life while growing food in this season’s Purple Plow Challenge!

Wind Power Kit. Engage students with this engineering design challenge! Students will design and construct a barn and create a wind turbine that produces electricity for the barn (lights up an LED light). This fun challenge is included in the Farming for Energy lesson plan. This kit contains enough materials for students to work in five small groups.
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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