New York Agriculture in the Classroom
The Empire Educator
A newsletter for New York's educators interested and committed to teaching through agriculture
Food, Land, and People Distance Training
New York Agriculture in the Classroom is excited to announce Food, Land, and People trainings for May. These will be held May 13 and 15, 2014 from 6:00-8:30 pm in three locations: Livingston County, Wayne County, and Ulster County. Participate and receive curriculum, lesson plans, 5 hours of professional development credit, and many ideas. Learn more about Food, Land, and People.

To register for:
Livingston County, contact:
Mary Ann Scharmberg;
Wayne County, contact:
Margaret Boone;
Ulster County: register here
Survey for Teachers who participated in ALW - win an Ag in the Classroom Prize Pack!
 If you were a teacher involved in Agricultural Literacy Week, please remember to complete our survey about your classroom experience and your thoughts on the 2014 program. Completing the survey enters you for a chance to win a prize pack from New York Agriculture in the Classroom! Complete the survey today!
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.  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.
Educator Resources
Ideas and Inspiration
Using Gardens to Teach
The Poughkeepsie Farm Project will be hosting a summer institute for educators interested in integrating gardens into their curriculum. The workshop will be three days of hands-on learning and will count for twenty one hours of professional development credit. It will be held August 6-8, 2014 in Poughkeepsie, NY. Learn more about the workshop or register today.
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 Shadow Garden
Cherie Foster Colburn
This book is the story of a young girl who, with her grandfather, grows a garden for her ill grandmother. The garden is special because it comes alive with pollinators more at night than during the day. Learn about nocturnal pollinators and how this granddaughter was able to do something special for her Nana. Find more here.
Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas
Cheryl Bardoe
This book covers a basic idea of genetics as it explores how Gregor Mendel discovered the concepts of traits and inheritance when studying peas. Start an easy-to-understand conversation about science and genetics in your classroom with this interesting book. Learn more or buy the book here.
Web Resources
Gardening Guide
Michelle Obama's White House Garden has grown to be well known as groups of youth from all over the country visit the garden and get involved in the Let's Move initiative. You too can follow suit by using this gardening guide for some pointers on how to start your own school, community, or personal garden!
School Garden Grants
 Looking to start a school garden? Annie's offers grants to schools and educational programs for those interested in building school gardens. Whether your school is just getting started or would like funds to continue to grow your existing garden, you may apply. This year's applications are due by June 2nd, so apply today! Learn more about the program and find out how to apply here.
Will your favorite snack be the state snack?
Do you know what the State Snack is? Fourth grade students from Byron-Bergen wrote to senator Michael Ranzenhofer in attempts to make yogurt the official snack of New York State. Read more about the progress the bill has made and about the benefits yogurt has in New York in this article.
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
Food, Land, and People Distance Trainings
May 13 and 15, 2014
  • 6:00-8:30 pm on both days in each respective location
  • Three locations: Livingston County, Wayne County, and Ulster County
  • See 'News' for information about registering
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
Poughkeepsie Farm Project Summer Institute
August 6-8, 2014
  • Being held in Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Workshops for educators wanting to integrate gardens into their curriculum
  • Learn more or register today.

Featured News
 Food, Land, and People Distance Training
Agricultural Literacy Week Coordinator Reminder
NAITC Conference 
This Month in Ag


New York State FFA Convention - May 8-10
Mother's Day - May 11
Memorial Day - May 26
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Did You Know?
There are over 100,000  species responsible for pollination. More interesting is that over 1,000 of those species are vertebrates. 

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29A Plant Science
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853