New York Agriculture in the Classroom
The Empire Educator
A newsletter for New York's educators interested and committed to teaching through agriculture
September 2014
2015 Agricultural Literacy Week Book Announced
Weaving the Rainbow by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Stephanie Anderson has been selected by the NYAITC Advisory Committee as the 2015 Agricultural Literacy Week book. This year will be focused on fiber production in New York State from sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, rabbits, & more. Agriculture is more than the food we eat, it is also the clothes on our backs, the materials that keep us warm and dry, and are used each and every day of our lives. Mark your calendars for March 16-20, 2015 and be sure to invite an Agricultural  Literacy Week volunteer into your classroom. Visit the website soon for more details!
NYAITC Teacher of the Year Applications
Christine Bow, 2014 Teacher of the Year
Applications are due October 17, 2014 to select the NYAITC Teacher of the Year. We are looking for nominees that include a teacher, or team of teachers, who educate in a context of agriculture. They must be integrating agriculture and exposing students to the food, fiber, and natural resources in innovative ways.

Winners of this award will attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Louisville, Kentucky with all expenses paid by NYAITC. The teacher(s) will also submit an application to be awarded a National Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture award from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). To view the rubric, access the application, or learn about previous winners please visit the Teacher of the Year portion of our website.
American Farm Bureau Mini-Grants
American Farm Bureau is again offering the White-Reinhardt Mini-Grant opportunities. These grants fund ag literacy projects and are worth up to $500 for classroom education programs. Applications are due October 15, 2014. To learn more, visit their website.
An Encore Apple Season

Again this year NYS will see a beautiful and bountiful apple harvest - and this is a great opportunity to bring your classroom on a fall field trip to an orchard. Field trips to a farm offer so much more than a one day, fun opportunity - visiting a farm can assist in framing your curriculum for the rest of the year. Have your students journal their experiences, documenting what they see, hear, taste, smell, and feel on the farm; or have them count the number of apples on a tree, trees in row, and number of rows to calculate the farmer's estimated crop.


Find orchards in your area and great apple resources from NYS Apple Country website, and consider pairing it with the My Farm Web lesson found on the National AITC Curriculum Matrix.
Educator Resources
Ideas and Inspiration
Farm Academy Live
    Farm Academy Live is a free program that uses video conferencing to provide an interactive experience for students in grades 3 and 4. The program is aligned with Common Core Standards and each lesson provides a hands-on activity for your students. Learn more about the program or  schedule a class here.
GreenWorks! Grants
Project Learning Tree annually funds grants for environmental service learning projects that link commmunity service with academic curriculum. There are three types of grants, with an opportunity to earn up to $2,000 for your service-learning project. 
The deadline to apply is September 30, 2014. Learn more online.
Submit a Workshop Proposal for the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference
National Agriculture in the Classroom is accepting workshop proposals for their 2015 conference in Louisville, Kentucky. If you feel as if you have an innovative agricultural program that other educators and volunteers across the country should know about, apply today! Proposals are due October 1, 2014. Submit here!
Apples for Everyone  
By Jill Esbaum
This book contains real and beautiful pictures that brilliantly depict the process of apple growth, harvest, and other living things involved in those processes. 'Apples for Everyone' is educational and interesting. To buy the book for your classroom, find it here.
Seed, Soil, Sun  
By Cris Peterson
Learn in your classroom about how these three things--seeds, soil, and sun--can be the basis for our food.  Author Cris Peterson writes about growth, harvest, and renewal in this book, which sheds light on agriculture and brings clarity as to where our food comes from.
Web Resources
MyPlate Map: Where does your food come from?
MyPlate teamed up with the AgCensus to create maps that show where the food from each food group on your plate come from. The maps are great for use in your classroom to initiate discussion on where food comes from and also can merge other topics like nutrition, math, and science into a lesson. Find the maps and other information here
Upcoming Events
Project Learning Tree--GreenWorks! Grants
Due September 30, 2014
  • Grants up to $2,000 for environmental service-learning projects
  • Learn more or apply online
American Farm Bureau White-Reinhardt Mini-Grants
Due October 15, 2014
  • Mini-Grants to promote Ag Literacy in your classroom
  • Learn more here
NYAITC Teacher of the Year Application Due
  • Applications Due October 17, 2014
  • Applications and more information here 
North Country Junior Iron Chef Competition
March 14, 2015 *Save the Date*
  • Team registration opens November 3, 2014
  • Learn more here

Featured News

Agricultural Literacy Week Book

NYAITC Teacher of the Year

American Farm Bureau Mini-Grants

An Encore Apple Season
This Month in Ag

National Honey Month

National Mushroom Month

National Chicken Month

National Rice Month
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Did You Know?
New York State produces about 29.5 million apples per year.

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