New York Agriculture in the Classroom
The Empire Educator
A newsletter for New York's educators interested and committed to teaching through agriculture
December 2014
Fleece Donations Needed
For Agricultural Literacy Week 2015 we are in need of fleece donations for the hands-on activity of felted marbles. 700 pounds of skirted fleece is wanted. If you know of a fiber farmer interested in donating to our cause, please see this website for shipping information. 

Donations must be sent by December 15, 2014 in order to be processed in time! 
Teacher of the Year - Accepting Applications
Kids Growing Food Mini Grants
School gardens are a terrific opportunity to get students involved in food gardening at school. They open up opportunities for education about and appreciation of agriculture, nutrition, and the food system.

NYAITC offers mini-grants for up to $500 to schools to establish or maintain food gardens. Funds can be used for a variety of materials. Find more information and the application here.
Applications are due December  12, 2014.
Christmas Tree Curriculum
'Tis the season to check out the Discover Christmas Trees curriculum. It includes dynamic lesson plans and activities that span all subject areas, and are aligned to NYS and Common Core Learning Standards. Find more information and the free curriculum on our websiteCourtesy of the New York State Christmas Tree Farmers Association. 
Educator Resources
Ideas and Inspiration
Clean Tech Student Competition
Registration is open for the Clean Tech Student Competition, a competition where students develop clean technology solutions to real-world, food availability problems. The first place team wins money for their team and school. The final competition is in May 2015. Visit their website for more information.
USDA Grants and Loans
The USDA offers grants and loans for schools, farms, and other groups or individuals that link agriculture and youth through various routes. Visit this page to discover more about what the USDA offers and how you can be involved.
Chickens on the Farm
By Mari C. Schuh
This book follows the story of John Chapman as he traveled the frontier of the United States spreading apple seeds. His distribution of these seeds made him a legend. Find the book and more information here.
Snow Comes to the Farm
By Nathaniel Tripp
A day comes, after the leaves have fallen and the wild geese have left for warmer places, when the air holds its breath, still and full of expectation. Snow is coming, and soon farmland and forest, ground and sky will be transformed. This story tells about two brothers waiting and watching for the first snow of winter. *This book is no longer in print, but is readily available through the Public Library System.

Pair it with the Weather Wisdoms lesson from Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom. 
Web Resources
Learn about Poultry!
Order the Poultry Ag Mag for your classroom and receive this resource for your students with fun facts and information about poultry as an exciting addition to your classroom.

This is a great standards-aligned, non-fiction resource for your classroom. 

Find out how to receive your Poultry Ag Mags here.
Mapping United States Agriculture
Use this resource from the USDA in your classroom to visualize United States agriculture on a map. These Ag Census maps allow for interaction and education in exploration of agriculture or other topics. Find the map resource here.
Elementary, Middle, and High School Soil Curriculum 
Check out these modules targeted for specific grade levels to integrate STEM activities through agriculture. Your students can explore the challenges in how we will feed a growing population, and discover how those challenges will be solved with science. All aligned to Common Core Learning Standards. 
Upcoming Events
Kids Growing Food Mini-Grant Applications
Due December 12, 2014
Agricultural Literacy Week Book Orders
Due January 12, 2015
North Country Junior Iron Chef Competition
March 14, 2015 *Save the Date*

Featured News
Fleece Donations Needed

Kid Growing Food Mini-Grants

Christmas Tree Curriculum
This Month in Ag

National Poinsettia Day-December 12

Winter Solstice-December 21
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Did You Know?
Just 1 acre of real Christmas trees removes over 500 pounds of carbon dioxide every year.

That means New York State Christmas tree growers remove 2,125 tons of CO2 each and every year - the weight of the space shuttle!

Find out more about the Christmas Tree Farms of New York State.

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