January 2013

Issue: 4
Photo Courtesy of Minnesota Grown
In This Issue
Teacher Feature
Grants Available
Fantastic Resources
MAITC Spreads Ag Literacy
Register for National Conference
Teacher Assessment Project
MAITC Facebook Page
Upcoming Events
Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom 
Agricultural Literacy - Possessing knowledge and understanding of food and fiber systems; an individual possessing such knowledge can synthesize, analyze, and communicate basic information about agriculture. 
Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) works to promote agricultural literacy by producing educational materials and programs, facilitating professional development workshops for educators, and assisting agricultural professionals.  We work to provide a wealth of opportunities for integrating agriculture, food and natural resources education into the K-12 classroom.  We want you to be involved in our continuing efforts to spread agricultural literacy in 2013! 

Teacher Feature


Featured Teacher  - Ms. Nandini Katti

7th grade Science Teacher at Horizon Middle School

Moorhead, MN


Why did you choose to become an educator?

I have always been involved in my children's education. I was volunteering in the schools my children went to before I decided to get a teaching licensure. I was so involved with children that being a teacher was all I wanted to do.  


How has agriculture and the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Program impacted your students and instruction?

I have always grown plants as a teaching tool in my classroom and learning experience for my students. I borrowed a plant stand from a teacher during my first year teaching and that is how I started the angiosperm project. Two master gardeners come into my classroom and help students grow plants from November to May.  Students are required to keep a journal that contains their scientific writing. 


I applied for a mini-grant through Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom.  I received the grant and just bought a plant stand so 140 students are growing plants in my classroom. I have used the placemats from Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom to show the map of Minnesota and the agricultural products produced.  These resources have been very helpful for talking about agriculture in my class.

What advice do you have for other teachers on implementing agriculture into their classroom? 

It is a great idea to involve agriculture or some sort of plant growing project in a classroom. Plant awareness brings a calmer personality in a student. Before the angiosperm project starts in my classroom, the students are very restless and find focusing difficult. During the project they feel the soil every single day, and pay attention to the needs of their beloved plant. They have learned to be gentle and kind to others because that is what is expected of them when they deal with their plants.Their nature is changed due to the responsibility they have suddenly taken up. This gives them a better perspective of life and they become calmer in class with their learning and work. Their curiosity is awakened and they find a new interest in learning all the subjects in school. Science becomes their favorite subject many times.
Ms. Nandini Katti


Grants Available!

Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom sponsors an agricultural literacy grant program. Cash awards (maximum of $400) are offered to encourage educators to bring agriculture and food systems education to life by integrating agriculture content into their classroom or school. Grant applications are due February 15, 2013. More information can be found at the MN Ag in the Classroom website.

Fantastic Resources   

Food For Thought: Connecting Minnesota Geography, Agriculture and Communities Curriculum and Teacher Guide

This standards-based curriculum is a product of Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) and the Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education (MAGE). The nine lessons and maps will inspire interest in the geography of Minnesota agriculture and enable students to locate themselves amidst the grand mosaic of fields, processing plants, wind towers, ethanol plants, power lines and roads in Minnesota. Available FREE on the MAITC website.


Website - Kids Zone, National Agriculture in the Classroom
Explore this website and discover a wealth of information and interactive activities to investigate agriculture. Features include Victual Tours, Farm and Fun Food, State Ag Facts, Ag Knowledge and Science Projects. http://www.agclassroom.org/kids/index.htm
Ag Careers App
Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE) partnered with AgCareers.com to develop the Ag Career Finder app for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. App users can browse fifty-eight career profiles that include an overview of the career, suggested high school courses, experience needed, degrees required, potential employers, salary range, employment outlook and trends, and professional organizations. Additionally, each of the career profiles are linked to current job openings at AgCareers.com.
To learn more about this application and to download it, search Ag Career Finder at the Google Play store or for apple products go to:

Children's Literature - Dirt: The Scoop on Soil 

ISBN 1-4048-0012-3

Read this intermediate level book to dig into the nature, uses and importance of soil and the many forms of life that it supports. Fun facts and ideas for class activities are also included in this book. Part of the MN Ag in the Classroom Book Bundle. 



MAITC Works to Spread Agricultural Literacy  

Are you an agricultural producer, farmer, educator, volunteer, or agricultural advocate interested in discovering new possibilities for advancing agricultural literacy? Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom can help!  We offer free resources and materials for planning educational events, classroom visits, and hosting tours.  Additionally, we are available to assist in organizing agricultural literacy workshops for individuals and groups that want to develop consistent opportunities for embedding agriculture in every classroom in their community.  Contact MAITC for details.

Active participation was a must during the Agricultural Literacy Workshop at the MN Farm Bureau Annual Conference on November 30th.

Register for Ag in the Classroom National Conference! 


June 25-28, 2013

Marriott City Center

Minneapolis, MN

Engaging workshops, tours, keynote speakers and networking events will provide exceptional learning opportunities for attendees to increase their knowledge in agricultural topics and also integrate agricultural content into classroom instruction to meet academic standards. 

This conference is open to educators, volunteers, ag advocates and anyone else interested in discovering new possibilities for advancing agricultural literacy.


Scholarships are available!

 Applications must be submitted by March 1, 2013.

Teachers: How can we help?   

The MAITC Program is conducting a Teacher Assessment Project. We are collecting input from Minnesota teachers concerning the effectiveness of the resources and workshops we provide to K-12 educators.


If you are a teacher please spend 10 minutes completing our online survey.

We are also looking for volunteers for focus group discussions.  If you are interested please contact Sue Knott.

If you are not a teacher please share the survey link with the teachers you know! Even if teachers have never used or heard about the program, their feedback is still valuable. Here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MNTeachers

Any effort to "spread the word" about this survey to educators is appreciated!

MAITC Facebook Page
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St. Cloud State Elementary Education Majors create an Ag Web.
Upcoming Events

January 17-18, 2013 
MN School Boards Association Leadership Conference
Minneapolis, MN
January 18-19, 2013
MN Association of Agricultural Educators Conference
St. Cloud, MN
January 23, 2013
MAITC and MARL Ag Literacy Workshop
St. Paul, MN
February 6-8, 2013
MN Elementary School Principals' Association Institute
Bloomington, MN
February 21-22 
MN Conference on Science Education
Duluth, MN
The first two individuals to respond with the correct answer will win a copy of the book Who Grew My Soup? byTom Darbyshire! 
Minnesota ranks first in the US in the production of which crop?
Send answers to
[email protected]
Congratulations to November's trivia winners Katrine Bender and Shell Tumberg! Both teachers knew that the "Three Sisters" crops are beans, corn and squash.  They both won a reusable grocery bag courtesy of Minnesota Grown.   


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Sue Knott                                                Al Withers
MAITC Education Specialist                      MAITC Program Director
[email protected]                            [email protected]
651-201-6486                                           651-201-6886