New York Agriculture in the Classroom
The Empire Educator
A newsletter for New York's educators interested and committed to teaching through agriculture
Agriculture Literacy Week, March 17-21 2014
Who Grew My Soup?
Written by: Tom Darbyshire, Illustrated by: C.F. Payne
Agricultural Literacy Week is quickly approaching! 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 grow 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.
CHS Scholarships for NAITC Conference
 Interested in attending the 2014 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference on June 23-27? Apply for a CHS scholarship to cover the registration fee of the conference. Applications for the scholarships are due March 15, 2014. Find out more and apply here.

Last year 4 teachers from New York were successful in receiving scholarships to attend the National Conference, and it could be YOU this year!
Educator Resources
Ideas and Inspiration
Nutrition Voyage: The Quest To Be Our Best
Targeted towards 7th and 8th graders, this nutrition quest gives students the opportunity to discover and reflect on the benefits of eating healthy and being physically active. There are three treks for each grade level, each being standards-aligned for various subjects. Visit the USDA site to learn more.
'Cafeteria Man' Screening and Discussion
  Join GardenShare for an evening of dicussion and learning as the program shows a free screening of 'Cafeteria Man', a true story about a chef who pushes to change the public school food system. The screening will be at 7:00 pm on February 11, 2014 at The Unitarian Universalist Church on Main Street in Canton, NY. A panel discussion will follow the screening. Learn more here.
The Great Seed Search
 Try the new game from My American Farm, 'The Great Seed Search', and explore the world along with the cultures and agriculture products in it. Additional lesson plans and activities provide for an educational experience. Learn more or play here.
Money for Your School
 Continuing this year, the 'America's Farmers Grow Rural Education' program awards money to deserving rural schools that were previously nominated by area farmers. Monsanto offers awards of $10,000 and $25,000. Nominations are open from now until April 6, and applications from schools will be due by April 21. Learn more about the program here.
Local Food Webinars
Tune into the discussion about local food purchasing for school districts. Each second and fourth Thursday of the month starting in January and running through July, USDA Farm to School will be airing webinars for those interested in learning more. More information about how and when to register is posted here.
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. Learn more or register here.
To Market, To Market
Written by: Nikki McClure
This story follows a boy and his mother as they visit their farmer's market. The book alternates between story and fact as the little boy learns how each of the food items they buy are produced and eventually make their way to market. Find more on the book here.
Cherry Tree
Written by Ruskin Bond; Illustrated by Allen Eitzen
  Filled with beautiful illustrations, this story follows the journey of a cherry tree from seed to first blossom after a young Indian girl decides to plant a cherry seed. To celebrate National Cherry Month with this book, buy it 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
Focusing on STEM
 Visit this site to review ideas and resources specifically to help educators keep Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) at the forefront in their classroom. Gain ideas and knowledge about different topics from the monthly newsletters and keep updated about different events and resources available to educators each month.
Soil Science in the Classroom
Utilize the Soil Science Society of America's website to find ideas and resources for teaching students about soils in class. There are a wide range of tools available, from lesson plans and activities developed for various age groups to general soil information. Visit this site to discover some of the ways to bring soil science into your classroom
Food for Thought on Careers in Agriculture
 Visit this link to watch 'Some Food for Thought about Careers', an interesting illustrated video about changing dynamics in the field of agriculture and career implications for those interested in agriculture and sectors relating to it.
Making Butter
 Check out this blog post filled with tips for making butter and alternative uses for butter. Watch the included video for even more information and to watch the detailed steps in making butter.
Upcoming Events
'Cafeteria Man' Screening
February 11, 2014
  • To be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Main Street; Canton, NY
  • FREE Screening at 7:00 pm followed by panel discussion
Farm to School Webinars
January through July 2014
  • Tune in to these webinars about bringing local foods to school districts
  • Webinars held at 2 p.m. every second and fourth Thursday of the month by USDA Farm to School
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 
CHS Scholarship Applications Due
March 15, 2014
  • Scholarships for NAITC conference
  • Find applications 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
I  NY Agriculture Art and Writing Contest
Submissions due April 25, 2014
  • For youth, pre-K through 6th grade
  • Learn more here
National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference
June 23-27, 2014
  • Hosted in Hershey, Pennsylvania
  • Learn more and register for the conference here

Featured News
 Agricultural Literacy Week
CHS Scholarships for NAITC Conference
This Month in Ag


National Cherry Month


National Black History Month


National FFA Week, February 15-22


National Pistachio Day, February 26

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Did You Know?

The cherries harvested from one normal cherry tree are enough to make 28 cherry pies! 

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