New York Agriculture in the Classroom
The Empire Educator
A newsletter for New York's educators interested and committed to teaching through agriculture
NYAITC Teacher of the Year Selected
 Congratulations to our 2014 NYAITC Teacher of the Year,
Christine Bow
of the Batavia City School District!  Christine teaches first grade at Jackson Primary School in Batavia, NY where she has been a teacher for 26. She utilizes incubation and embryology, a Dairy Day trip to a dairy farm, classroom gardening, and other activities and lessons  in her curriculum in order to expose her students to agriculture. Congratulations, Christine!  Stay tuned to learn more about Christine, but to learn more about the NYAITC Teacher of the Year award, visit our website.
Agriculture Literacy Week, March 17-21 2014
Who Grew My Soup?

Written by: Tom Darbyshire, Illustrated by C.F. Payne

Agricultural Literacy Week is celebrated during National Agriculture Week; it's a week where volunteers from across the state aid in bringing agriculture into classrooms through reading an agriculturally accurate book to over 45,000 students. This year's Ag Literacy week is March 17-21, 2014 with the selected book Who Grew my Soup? This is a delightful story about a young boy who goes on a journey to meet the farmers who grew the vegetables in his soup. Accompanied lesson plans and activities will increase student awareness of nutrition and build the knowledge that nutrition starts on the farm. Visit the NYAITC website to learn more about the book, register your classroom, or volunteer to read.
White House Student Film Festival
Students in grades K-12 are invited to submit short one-to-three minute videos for the White House Student Film Festival. The topic is: high-lighting the importance of technology in the classroom and imagining how it will change their educational experience in the future.  Finalist videos will be screened at the White House. Find more information about the contest, rules, and submission here. Submissions are due January 29th, 2014.
North Country Junior Iron Chef Competition
The North Country Junior Iron Chef competition allows Middle and High school students the opportunity to develop healthy recipes with the potential for use in school cafeterias using local foods.  Teams of three to five students can register for this exciting hands on experience.  Registration is already open.  The competition will be held March 8, 2014 at Potsdam Central A.A. Kingston Middle School. Find out more or register here.
Educator Resources
Ideas and Inspiration
Minnesota School Gardens Guide
This guidhightunnele about gardening and plant sicence compiled by the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom program and includes information about creating and maintaining a school garden. It also includes lesson plans surrounding the topic which help  inspire students to appreciate  nutrition and food production.  Some of the included lesson plans are  from NYAITC. To download the guide for free or to order a copy, visit the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's website.  
FREE DVDs focused on Veterinary Science
  Do you have any students interested in a career in Veterinary Science? The American Veterinary Medical Association is offering
free informational DVDs about veterinary science and rabies to educators who would like to share them with their students interested in veterinary science. Order these free DVDs here.
Snow Comes to the Farm
Nathaniel Tripp
  This is a short story about two brothers who are waiting for the first snow of winter after the leaves are gone and the seasons are changing. Read along to discover the beauty of snow on the farm and just how it transforms the setting. Find the book and more information here.
The Farmer in All of Us
Inspired by Paul Harvey
This book follows the themes of Paul Harvey's 'So God made a Farmer' and captures the lives and work of farmers on camera. This is an excellent compilation of heartwarming and inspiring photos. Proceeds go to benefit the Future Farmers of America organization. The book is currently available for preorder and will become available in the spring of 2014.
Web Resources
FNCS Recipe Box
  Visit the FNCS Recipe Box webpage to find recipes of all kinds as well as helpful nutritional information that will keep your food exciting and nutritious. The USDA's Food and Nutrition Service helps you by creating one central location for all of these recipes and information so that possibilities are right at your fingertips.   
'Power Up' from My American Farm
My American  Farm has a new game for users! 'Power up' allows players to visit areas in energy crisis and designate energy resources for those areas. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of energy in the agricultural industry. Visit the My American Farm website to play Power Up and other fun agricultural games.
'Strands of Promise' Genetic Modification Article
This article highlights some of the important points about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's) and provides a perspective on their presence in the market. Read more in this article and learn a little bit for yourself about this highly controversial topic.
Pizza Past and Present
Learn about pizza and the history of pizza from this fascinating video by the History channel. The additional recipes included work as an excellent supplement to the video.
Cheese Science
 This resource from Utah Education Network is useful in exploring the world of cheese in the classroom. With lesson plans, events, ideas, and news this site is a go-to resource for all things Cheese. Find out how you can use cheese in your classroom with your students by visiting Cheese Science.
Upcoming Events
New York State Agricultural Society Forum
January 9, 2014
  • NYS Ag. Society's annual forum, this year titled 'The Next Generation of Agriculturists: Millennials' Perspectives on their Future in Agriculture'
  • Syracuse, NY 
  • Learn more here
White House Student Film Festival
  • K-12 students can submit a short video about the future of technology in classrooms. Finalist videos will be screened at the White House. Find out more here
  • Submissions due by January 29, 2014 
North Country Iron Chef Competition
March 8, 2014

  • Middle and High school competition for students to create a healthy recipe and compete against other teams
  • Registration currently open
  • Learn more and register here 
Ag Literacy Week
March 17-21, 2014
  • Second grade students across New York state learn about agriculture in their classrooms
  • Volunteer to read or register your classroom today on our website
Featured News
Teacher of the Year
Ag Literacy Week
White House Student Film Festival
North Country Junior Iron Chef Competition
This Month in Ag


National Poinsettia Day-December 12


Winter Solstice-December 21

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Did You Know?
35 million evergreens are produced for the holiday season every year. 
Each tree takes 7-10 years to mature!

NY Agriculture in the Classroom | 607-255-9253 | |
29A Plant Science
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853