New York Agriculture in the Classroom
The Empire Educator
A newsletter for New York's educators interested and committed to teaching through agriculture
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!
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.
I  NY Agriculture Art and Writing Contest
 New York Agriculture in the Classroom is proud to announce this year's I  New York Agriculture Art and Writing contest! The contest is open to students in Pre-K through Sixth Grade and winners receive various prizes. Winning projects will be on display at the New York State Fair in August in the FFA Exhibit Building. To see the artwork of past winners or to find out more about the contest and how to enter, please visit the NYAITC website. Submissions are due April 25, 2014.
Educator Resources
Ideas and Inspiration
MyPlate Meals from the Garden
 Take a look at this post to get ideas about diversifying the foods at your table while keeping them healthy and local. USDA discusses some of the ways that balanced meals, using MyPlate, can be incorporated in your home easily while supporting local agriculture.
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.
Farm Tour Training Workshop
 The New York Agriculture Animal Coalition and the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council are hosting a Farm Tour Workshop in Auburn, NY on Friday, March 28, 2014. The workshop will include ideas and suggestions for holding a farm tour, and also cover information on utilizing social media as a means to share your farm with the public. The workshop is free, lunch will be provided, and there will be materials and resources available for participants. Reservations are required by March 20, 2014. Learn more about the workshop here.
Farm To School Grants
  Did you know that there are funds available to plan, implement, or support Farm to School programs in schools? Schools can apply for various grants through the Farm to School program. Grant applications are due April 30, 2014. For more information about the grants and to view webinar dates, visit the Farm to School Grant website
International Reading Association Conference
 Being held May 10-12, 2014, the International Reading Association's 59th Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana will host great speakers and promote networking, while also allowing educators to explore products and services at the Exhibit Hall. The conference aims to help educators in making their schools more successful. To learn more about the conference or to apply to attend, visit the IRA conference website. Early bird registration ends April 14, 2014.
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.
From Maple Trees to Maple Syrup
Kristin Thoennes Keller
 March is the perfect time to explore maple product production.  Engage your students with this book about maple syrup production to get them excited about the season. Find more information or buy the book here.
I Will Not Ever Eat a Tomato 
Lauren Child
 Great for National Nutrition Month, this story is about a young fussy eater who has a long list of foods that she does not like--and she especially doesn't like tomatoes. When vegetables are described differently to her, they begin to become more and more appealing to Lola and she just might change her mind. Find more information here.
Web Resources
A Day in the Life Activity
Check out this activity geared towards fifth graders from  'My American Farm' that focuses on environmental stewardship practices.  This reading and short activity are a perfect way to get students started thinking about the idea of stewardship. Access the activity and other resources from My American Farm here.
Too Much? Too Little? Soil Unit
 Targeted towards middle schoolers, this soil science unit helps students to understand the connections between soil and their food. The eleven lesson unit promotes interest in soils and their effect on plants.  Find the lesson plan here.
Grant-Writing Webinar--Small is Beautiful Grants
 Cornell's Garden Based Learning Center is holding a webinar on March 7, 2014 at 2 PM with helpful tips on writing short grant proposals. The webinar is directed towards people planning on submitting proposals for the Small is Beautiful mini grant program, though others are welcome to listen in on March 7th at 2 PM.
Upcoming Events
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
Food Corps Service Member Applications Due
March 30, 2014
  • Applications due March 30
  • Informational webinar March 7
  • Learn more about Food Corps or apply here
Voices from the Farm
March 30, 2014
  • An hour long musical suite devoted to upstate New York Farmers
  • Snell Theater at SUNY Potsdam on March 30, 2014 at 3 PM
  • Learn more here
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
 CHS Scholarships for NAITC Conference
Agricultural Literacy Week
 NY Agriculture Art and Writing Contest
This Month in Ag


 National Nutrition Month


Agricultural Literacy Week, March 17-21


National Agriculture Day, March 25

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Did You Know?

40 gallons of sap make only 1 gallon of Maple Syrup  

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