New York Agriculture in the Classroom
"The Empire Educator" 
A newsletter for New York's educators interested and committed to teaching through agriculture
Back to School Edition        September 2015
2016 Agricultural Literacy Week Book Announced
The 2016 Agricultural Literacy Week book has been selected, and we are pleased to bring to you The Apple Orchard Riddle by Margaret McNamara! This book will help your students learn about apples, orchards, apple harvesting, cider, and different varieties of apples, all through a pleasant story with an inquisitive little girl. Apples are an important agricultural product in New York, and we are excited to share this story with our students across the state during the week of March 14-18th 2016.

Registrations are now open for the Capital District & Long Island Agricultural Literacy Academies. Join us for a unique two-day professional development training to infuse your classroom with agriculture, food system, and garden education. Receive over $200 worth of curriculum, books, kits, and resources for your classroom. Registration is only $30, and there are multiple $100 scholarships available to help offset travel, substitute teachers, etc.

Capital District - September 18th & 19th
Scholarship Due
September 11th
Registration Ends
September 11th

Long Island - October 6th & 7th 
Scholarship Due: 
September 22nd
Registration Ends: 
September 30th

chs foundation logo

CHS and Ag in the Classroom have partnered to provide five $1,500 grants nationwide. The $1,500 grants will be awarded to kindergarten through 12th grade core education teachers whose innovative classroom projects use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, nutrition, science and/or social studies. Winners will need to utilize at least two lessons from the Ag curriculum matrix.
Grant proposals must demonstrate how local farmers, ranchers or agriculture industry representatives will be involved in the project. If you are interested in applying follow this link for more information, grant proposals are due by September 15th!
Lisa Byers
2015 Teacher of the Year
Each year, NYAITC recognizes an outstanding New York elementary or secondary school teacher (or team of teachers) who uses agricultural education materials and/or activities in the classroom to such an extent as to merit our top award. If you or someone you know is an amazing educator who integrates agriculture into their classrooms nominate yourself/them today! 

All applications are due Friday, October 16, 2015. For more information or an application, visit our website
Educator Resources
White-Reinhardt Mini-Grants Now Available!
Are you looking for funds to facilitate projects that will increase agricultural literacy? If so, the White-Reinhardt Mini-Grant program is now accepting applications for the Spring 2016 cycle. You may apply for a grant of up to $500 that will either initiate or expand agricultural literacy programs in you school or classroom. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis, to learn more about this program or to apply please visit the White-Reinhardt Mini-Grant program website
Featured Lesson Plan
Looking for a visual activity on the properties of
soil particles? Look no further... upon completion of this lesson your students will be able to: describe the properties of differe
nt soil particle sizes, discuss the role of soil particle size play in 
plant growth. Very few materials are needed for this lesson; only construction paper, glue, ruler, scissors, and a marker are required. Samples of sand, silt, and clay can be utilized to enhance the learning experience. For more information and to view this lesson in it's entirety please click here
Target Field Trip Grants
Sometimes the best learning experiences happen outside the classroom. Target recognizes this and wants to help students have these opportunities despite a lack of funding from the school. You may apply for a grant of up to $700 to take your students on an engaging field experience away from the classroom and desks. 
Grant applications are now being accepted through October 1st. To obtain more information or to apply, please visit the target website here
In This Issue
Visit our Website!
Save the Date!
NY Pollinators Conference-
September 22, 2015
The New York State IPM Program will host a full day conference on pollinators to increase practitioner knowledge on the state of pollinator health and to provide strategies for enhancing native and managed pollinating insects.

The conference will be held at the Albany CCE Office, Voorheesville, NY. For more information contact Betsy Lamb at 607-254-8800 or by email
NYS Farm-Based Education Tour
Be captivated and inspired by eight farms at next month's Farm-Based Educators' Tour through NY-State. Discover how each farm is helping its community connect with the land, food, and each other. Explore strategies for developing a strong mission, meeting audience's needs, financial models, customer experiences, safety, programming and events.
Tours start September 9th, click here to view the full itinerary.

Nutrients for Life Curriculum 
Nutrients for Life is offering free downloadable curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. 

The modules for elementary, middle, and high school classrooms provide STEM activities and lessons to show how the challenge to feed our world's growing population can be solved with science.

The program addresses key objectives from the National Science Education Standards and has been reviewed by the Smithsonian Institution. In addition, our curricula is aligned to Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and all 50 state standards. Visit their website to explore their offerings!
Looking for a Book to Read to Your Class?
With autumn quickly approaching, younger students are sure to love Apples, Apples Everywhere! by Robin Koontz. Teach your students that Autumn is apple harvest time. Come along on a trip to the apple orchard. Find out how apples are picked and stored. Learn which apples are best for munching. But watch out for the apple worms!
We Want to Hear from You!
Are you implementing agriculture in your classroom to engage students beyond the traditional curriculum? Do you utilize resources featured in our newsletter or on our website? Maybe you even use lessons from the Ag literacy curriculum matrix. 

If any of these apply to you, we want to hear about it. NYAITC will be starting aTeacher Feature section in our monthly newsletter. To be considered for this honor, email our new Student Assistant Austin Weaver, with a brief summary of how you incorporate ag in your class and a picture if possible. 

To be considered for the October edition of the Empire Educator please 
email Austin (with subject line Teacher Feature) by September 21st; selected teachers will be contacted to obtain any further information needed!
New York Agriculture in the Classroom | |
29A Plant Science
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853