New York Agriculture in the Classroom
The Empire Educator
A newsletter for New York's educators interested and committed to teaching through agriculture
I  NY Agriculture Art and Writing Contest
New York Agriculture in the Classroom is proud to announce this year's I Love 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.
National Ag in the Classroom Conference
 Interested in attending the 2014 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference? The conference showcases resources for educators and others and is being held June 23-27, 2014 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Early bird registration ends April 15 so register today! Visit the National Agriculture in the Classroom site to learn more about the conference. For those teachers who do attend, please contact NYAITC to inquire about transportation and housing assistance.
Ag Literacy Week in Review
Commissioner of Agriculture Richard Ball reading to students at Schoharie Elementary School.
Agricultural Literacy Week was held March 17-21, 2014 and was a great success! Over 1,000 volunteers took part in reading the book Who Grew My Soup? and teaching accompanying activities with elementary students throughout New York State.  To access videos from the author, the Who Grew My Soup? song, and the companion activities please access our Agricultural Literacy Week website.
Educator Resources
Ideas and Inspiration
Sustainable Energy Curriculum
There are now many resources available for the 'Fueling our Future: Exploring Sustainable Energy Use' curriculum as there are PDF, print, and SMART board resources available for teachers. The curriculum is made up of nine lessons with assessment and readings and targets middle and high school students. Learn more here
Mortgage Lifter for Small Farms
Beekman 1802 is offering four 'lifts' for small farms with big ideas sponsored by money they've raised in the last year selling their pasta sauces. Pass the opportunity to win $10,000 or other mini-'lifts' on to small farmers you know. Applications are due April 22nd, 2014 and winners will be announced April 29th. Learn more or fill out an application profile online.
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
White-Reinhardt Mini-Grants
The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is offering mini-grants again this year to counties in hopes of promoting agricultural literacy. The date to apply by is May 1st, 2014. Find more information or the application online.
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.
Dairy Birthing Center
The Dairy Birthing Center will be returning to the New York State Fair this year! A popular attraction during its first year last year, the birthing center will be housed in a bigger tent with new and exciting additions this year. Volunteers will be needed! If you are interested in volunteering, contact Jessica Ziehm at Visit the New York Animal Agriculture site to learn more.
The Tiny Seed
Eric Carle
This book touches on the life of a seed, from when it is shed and its challenges to survive to finally the spring when it begins to grow and still faces challenges as it grows into a plant and begins the cycle over again. Learn more here.
Lets Look at Spring
Sarah L. Schuette
This book is great for the classroom in the spring when students are looking at what cycles are occurring in nature in the spring. Learn more about the book here.
Web Resources
Milk Comes from a COW?
Kansas Farm Bureau has recently released a new app that is informational and fun. Based on the book 'Milk comes from a COW?', the app explores dairy production and helps to promote agricultural literacy while also promoting learning and reading skills in students who use the app. Learn more about the app here.
Food Safety Checklist
Concerned about implementing food safety measures in your school garden? These guidelines and checklist help to get some ideas about measures that can be taken to improve food safety and minimize risks in your school or community garden. Find the list here.
Regional Food Maps
Check out these very beautiful maps of various countries composed of the signature foods associated with that country. It's an interesting take on location of production of many types of foods. Access the pictures here.
Effect of Gardens on Student Health
kidsgrowingfood Findings of a recent study by Cornell University and other schools has found indicate interesting information about the positive effect that having a school garden can have on student health and well-being. Find more information about the study here.  
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
I  NY Agriculture Art and Writing Contest
Submissions due April 25, 2014
  • For youth, pre-K through 6th grade
  • Learn more here
6th Annual FFA Golf Tournament
May 17, 2014
  • Hosted in Blossvale, NY at McConnellsville Golf Club
  • Support by registering to play or by getting your FFA chapter involved by donating a penny auction item 
  • Learn more to get involved 
National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference
June 23-27, 2014
  • Hosted in Hershey, Pennsylvania
  • Learn more and register for the conference here

Featured News
I NY Agriculture Art and Writing Contest

 NAITC Conference 

This Month in Ag


 World Health Day-April 7  


Earth Day-April 22 


Arbor Day-April 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 | |
29A Plant Science
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853