honey march

March 2013
Agricultural Literacy Week        
Spring is right around the corner and so is Agricultural Literacy Week!  It's time to make your final preparations for this upcoming Ag Literacy Week, March 18-22, 2013. Classrooms and volunteers have been registered and book orders have been mailed! For more information on this year's books, please visit the Ag Literacy Week webpage. For more information on serving as a literacy volunteer or to request to have a literacy volunteer visit your classroom, contact your local county coordinator.

Author Visit
Also this year the author of The Beeman, Laurie Krebs, will touring the state and doing presentations with her husband Bill, the inspiration for the book! To give classrooms across the state an opportunity to hear from the author, NYAITC will be hosting a video chat on Wednesday, March 20th at 10am. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement with details soon!

Teacher Resources
New teacher resources have been added to the website to support Ag Literacy Week activities. Follow this link to view the supplemental pollination information, books, videos, and lesson plans.
I  NY Agriculture Contest
Do your students like to write or draw? Want your students to explore agriculture in their own lives? The I Love NY Agriculture Art and Writing Contest is the perfect opportunity for youth, Pre-K through 6th grade, to explore agriculture and food system while also meeting the New York State and Common Core Learning Standards. The contest is divided by grade level categories with prized ranging from t-shirts to $25 educational grants. For more information visit the I Love NY Agriculture Contest page on the NY Ag in the Classroom website.

Monsanto's 2013 "America's Farm Mom of the Year"
Does your classroom rely on the help of parents? Do you have that one mother that is always ready and willing to help even when she's been up from sun-up to sun-down on the farm? Recognize her hard work by nominating her for the America's Farmers 2013 "Farm Mom of the Year!" The contest is held yearly by Monsanto's America's Farmers Campaign and serves to recognize the hard work that "Farm Moms" put into their family, their farm, their community, and agriculture.

Anyone can nominate their favorite "Farm Mom" by visiting the "Farm Mom of the Year" page of the Monsanto's America's Farmers Campaign website before April 23 and submitting an essay on how their "Farm Mom" contributes to their family, farm, community, and agriculture. Each of the five contest regions will select a regional winner who will win $5,000 and then a national winner will be selected who will receive an additional $5,000.
Educator Resources
Ideas and Inspirations
Buzzy, Buzzy Bee 
 Buzzy, Buzzy Bee is an interactive lesson where students play a game in which they  pretend to be honeybees and apple trees. In the process, they learn about plant pollination. This lesson is aligned to NYS and the Common Core Learning Standards, and can be found on the NYAITC Ag Literacy Week page. Great for students in grades 2-7 and serves as a great additional activity for this year's Ag Literacy Week.
Build Your Own Grow Light 
Can't grow plants with your students because you don't have room for a greenhouse? Think again! With the "Build Your Own Grow Light" Kit from Utah Agriculture in the Classroom, teachers can build this easy and affordable grow light, allowing them to garden in their classroom year round or start plants early for outdoor transplanting. The detailed instructions in this PDF will take you step by step through the process of building this light and includes guidelines for using it in your classroom. All of the materials can be bought at your local home improvement center or hardware store. Great option for any windowless classroom, and students K-12.
First Peas to the Table by Susan Grigsby
Do your students love gardening? Do they love competition? Then they will love First Peas to the Table by Susan Grigsby in which a girl competes in a classroom garden competition to see who can get the 'first peas to the table,' based on a contest that Thomas Jefferson held with his friends and neighbors every year. Blending the topics of school gardens, history, botany, and seasonal weather themes into one fun-to-read book, this is a great resource for any classroom. Great for students 2-5, teachers may even consider modeling a classroom science project after the one featured in this book.  
Soybeans A to Z by Susan Anderson & JoAnne Buggey
Do your students like milk and cows? Then why not introduce them to one of the crops that fuels the dairy industry?  Soybeans A to Z by Susan Anderson and JoAnne Buggey introduces students to agriculture by providing basic information on soybeans while teaching them their alphabet. Students learn where soybeans come from, how they are used and their relationship to the food, fiber, the environment and renewable fuel made from soybeans. Great for students PreK-1 and an activity booklet is available as a resource for teachers.
Web Resources
Commodity Investigation
my American FarmWant to teach your students about the diverse agricultural in New York? The "Commodity Investigation" lesson from the My American Farm program gets students to inquire about the agricultural commodities produced in their state, or region, while promoting collaborative learning and honing students' creativity and presentation skills through the creation of a mini poster promoting their agricultural product. Great for students in grades 3-5, incorporates national standards for English and Language Arts, and serves as a great companion to the "Amazing Grains" online game in the My American Farm program.
Exploring Classroom Hydroponics
Hydroponics, in its simplest form, is growing plants by supplying all necessary nutrients in the plants' water supply rather than through the soil.  The "Exploring Classroom Hydroponics" website, created by the Kids Gardening Group, offers several classroom-tested designs and serves as a great way to begin a discussion on plant needs and how plants can be grown in space. Great for students 6-9 or for educators who want to learn more hydroponics.
Upcoming Events

Agricultural Literacy Week

I Love NY Agriculture Art and Writing Contest
USDA Farm to School Grants
  • March 5-7, 2013 - Webinars on application process
  • April 24, 2013 - Applications due
  • Three categories of grants offered: Planning, Implementation, and Support Service

Monsanto's 2013 "America's Farm Mom of the Year"

  • April 23 - Applications Due
  • Submit an essay on the Monsanto's America's Farmers Campaign website
  • Five regional winners - each wins $5,000 cash prize
  • One national winner - additional $5,000 cash prize


Featured NYAITC News

Agricultural Literacy Week

I  NY Agriculture Contests 
Monsanto's 2013 "America's Farm Mom of the Year"

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Did you know?...
Honeybees account for over 80% of all insect pollination in agriculture.

Contact Information

New York Agriculture in the Classroom 
Katie Bigness, Coordinator 
Department of Horticulture 
Cornell University 

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