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Florida Agriculture in the Classroom is funded by sales of the specialty agricultural license plate known as the Ag Tag. Add $35 to the standard license plate renewal fee. This amount includes a one-time $10 charge for your new metal plate. Subsequent annual renewals are an additional $25, $20 of which goes to Florida Agriculture in the Classroom and $5 of which goes to the state for administrative fees. Purchase one today! 
FAITC
Board of Directors
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Jennifer W. Sills, Chair
Dairy Council of Florida

Ken Barton, Vice Chair
Florida Peanut Producers

Joan Kyle, Treasurer 
Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association

Carole McKenzie, Secretary  
Polk County Farm Bureau

Gary Albarell
USF Polytechnic Florida Industrial & Phosphate Research

Vina Jean Banks
Florida Beef Council

David Boozer
Florida Aquaculture Association

Lyn Cacella-DuBois
Farm Credit Association of Florida

Erica Der
FDACS

Cheryl Fulford Flood
Kissimmee Island Cattle Co.

Sue Harrell
Florida Strawberry Growers Association

Dr. Bob McMillan

Kerry's Nursery

 

Jennifer Nelis
Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association

Dr. Edward Osborne

UF/IFAS Extension


Carol R. Roe
Wm. G. Roe & Sons, Inc.
 

Tracy Tesdall

UF/IFAS 4-H

 

Tamara Wood
Florida Citrus Mutual

 

Barbara Wunder
Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association

Lisa Gaskalla

 Executive Director

 

Holiday Griffin
Marketing Program Manager
 

Florida Teacher wins the National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award 
 
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Thomas Gantt
2012 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award Winner
 

     Thomas Gantt, a high school biology and chemistry teacher in Miami, won the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) and the National Agriculture in the Classroom's Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award for the Southern Region for 2012.

 

     Thomas Gantt, a teacher at iPreparatory Academy, uses biology, chemistry and research concepts to educate his students about agriculture. Gantt's "Worms in Space" project allowed students to observe the corn ear worm and the impacts outside influences have on its development including zero gravity.

 

     Gantt won Florida Agriculture in the Classroom's high school award and overall Florida award. He joins three other Florida teacher winners, namely Barbara Wilcox, a kindergarten teacher in Brevard County, who won for the elementary level, Melissa Raulerson, a science teacher in Hernando County who won for the middle school level and Becky Whitmer-Sponholtz, an agri-science teacher in Clay County, who won for the middle school agri-science level.

 

     "We are lucky to have teachers who are so passionate about Florida agriculture," said Jennifer W. Sills, chairwoman and Dairy Council of Florida representative for Florida Agriculture in the Classroom. "Their dedication and use of innovative lessons and ideas allows their students to learn about agricultural concepts in real life situations."
 
     Gantt used his "Worms in Space" project to grab students' attention. "Working in a truly urban setting in downtown Miami, most students are unaware of the huge agricultural endeavors taking place in Miami-Dade County and Florida.  I wish to expose students to the world outside of our school," he wrote in his application. 
Volunteer Grants due March 16

     Next Friday March 16 is the deadline for Florida Agriculture in the Classroom's 2012 Volunteer Grant applications. Applications need to be posted-marked by that date. 

 

     Farm Bureau members, IFAS Extension and 4-H agents and individuals with other non-profit and governmental agencies with projects that will educate students about Florida agriculture are eligible to apply.

 

        Please visit Florida Agriculture in the Classroom's website to download an application.

 

     If you would like an example of a strong grants proposal, please check out our website.

Teacher Grants due October 1

     Florida teachers in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade who seek funding for agriculture-related projects are eligible for Florida Agriculture in the Classroom's 2012-13 Teacher Grant program, the deadline of which is Oct. 1, 2012. 

 

     Agri-science teachers are now eligible for Florida Agriculture in the Classroom's Teacher Grant program as well.  Please visit Florida Agriculture in the Classroom's website to download an application.

 

     Students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade learned about growing fruits and vegetables using different growing systems and other agriculture-related lessons this school year by participating in 34 Teacher Grant projects funded by Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc.

 

     The non-profit organization funded the projects for more than $34,000, and estimates these project will reach about 7,500 students.

 

     To learn more about the individual projects that received teacher grants this school year, please check out the full press release.

 

Florida Agriculture Literacy Day Set for May 1, 2012.

 2012 Ag Lit Day Cover

     Agriculture industry volunteers from around the state are invited to read to elementary students on Agriculture Literacy Day scheduled for Tuesday May 1 this year. Florida Agriculture in the Classroom and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have developed a new book for the event this year called Healthy Florida Farms. It's the fourth in a series of Florida Agriculture Literacy Day books, and educates students about the nutritional benefits of Florida commodities.

 

     Industry volunteers who would like to read or teachers who would like someone to read to their students can go to Florida Agriculture in the Classroom's website at www.agtag.org and signup to be reader or request a reader.

 

     Did you read for Florida Agriculture Literacy Day last year? Share your experience with us on our Facebook page!

 

Free VPK, STEM & School Garden Workshops Available to Florida Teachers!

     Florida Agriculture in the Classroom will be bringing workshops to teachers around the state this summer! We will be hosting five regional, one-day teacher workshops in June. This workshop is open to Florida teachers, home school educators and afterschool program leaders who wish to learn how to integrate agricultural concepts into their every day teaching activities. Eight professional development points are available to attendees.  

 

Participants will:

- Receive supplemental VPK lessons and materials that use agriculture to introduce young students to core subject areas.

-Build irrigation systems and paper airplanes, or teach students to analyze the food they eat to introduce STEM concepts such as engineering, research, observation and analysis.

-Use interactive gardening lessons and activities to teach students science, math, social studies and language arts lessons.

 

Lessons from Keeping Florida Green, Project Food, Land & People, and Gardening for Grades will be featured, and will be distributed free of charge to attendees.

 

In addition an area farmer will speak during a Lunch & Learn session about local agriculture.

 

Workshop Dates and locations:

-South Florida Region, Miami-Dade County Extension Office: June 12, 2012

-Central Florida Region, Orange County Extension Office: June 14, 2012

-Southwest Florida Region, Lee County Extension Office: June 15, 2012

-Tampa Bay Region, Hillsborough County Extension Office: June 26, 2012

-North Florida Region, Leon County Extension Office: June 28, 2012

 

If you would like to register for a workshop please go to the Workshop section of Florida Agriculture in the Classroom's website, and sign up!

Gardening for Grades School Garden Mini Grants

     This past fall, Florida Agriculture in the Classroom offered a mini-grant program awarding 222 schools $500 grants around Florida. The mini-grant was in conjunction with Florida Agriculture in the Classrooms Gardening for Grades initiative and supplemented that resource to help schools improve or start a Florida fruit and vegetable garden. FAITC began taking applications in September of 2011, and by late October all the grants had been awarded.

 

     One teacher said about the Gardening for Grades mini-grant project at her school: "I asked the students if they had ever planted a vegetable garden.Two out of 100 said 'yes.' Now, all are involved. Their attitudes about planting and eating fresh fruit and vegetables, which are home-grown is a positive one.They are learning about photosynthesis in green plants in science class.They have learned about the energy flow from sun to plants to primary consumers to secondary consumers. We made a bulletin board of chains of energy with students' drawing pictures on each link of the chain."

 

     Gardening for Grades is a part of Florida Agriculture in the Classroom's school garden initiative that provides hands-on, real-life applications using agricultural concepts. Florida Agriculture in the Classroom is already working on a follow up to Gardening for Grades, Gardening for Nutrition, which will focus its lessons on nutrition. Gardening for Nutrition will be released in 2013.

 

     Teachers who would like to order a hard copy or download a electronic version of Gardening for Grades can visit our website and request a copy for free.

 

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To learn more or to register please visit the website.
 
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