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Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom News 
December 2014
fifth graders make ice cream
U of M student Kennedy Janssen leads 5th graders at Meadowview Elementary in an Ice Cream in a Bag activity.
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Future Teachers use MAITC resources to increase Agricultural Literacy


Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) was excited to be involved in a project completed by U of M students in professor Dr. Amy Smith's Introduction to Agricultural Education, Communication, and Leadership Course. In an effort to ease these young professionals into their role as teachers and workshop facilitators, they worked with 5th grade teachers at our MAITC Teacher Champion Schools.  Six U of M student trios prepared and taught a 45 minute lesson related to agriculture, food, fiber, and/or environment. This project was designed to increase 5th grade students' understanding of agriculture while providing U of M students an opportunity to develop professional skills in their anticipated career area.  

In This Issue
Teacher Feature
Heather WinkelmannStudent with her science fair project
K-5 Teacher and Co-Director
Lafayette Charter School, Lafayette, MN

Why do you believe it is important for our students to be agriculturally literate and aware?  

I believe that all students have to be aware of where their food and fiber comes from because if you ask them where our food comes from, most will answer the name of a store or with a shrug. To truly appreciate the value of food and fiber, students need to understand the source it comes from and how it was turned into the products that we are able to use today. We, as educators, need to impress upon them that stores are NOT where our food and fiber comes from. We need to educate students so they appreciate the work that is involved in the production of our food and fiber.  We need to make agriculture part of their life-long learning!

Agricultural Literacy Grants 
Applications due January 10, 2015
2015 grant image
The MAITC Foundation is proud to offer Agricultural Literacy grants to K-12 educators.  These grants (maximum of $400) are awarded to cultivate opportunities for embedding  agriculture, food, and natural resources education into the K-12 classroom. The resources gained through grant funds allow educators to increase student achievement by applying authentic agricultural examples to teach core curricular concepts in science, social studies, language arts, math and health/nutrition. 

MAITC to Participate in Educational Conferences 
 Al Withers speaks with principals at the Minnesota elementary school principals' conference
Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom is excited to participate in many upcoming professional conferences focusing on education.  We will be offering workshops and/or exhibiting at the following conferences.  Please stop by to share your ideas for increasing agricultural literacy with us and check out our FREE resources!

Jan. 15-16 MN School Board Assn Leadership Conference, Minneapolis 
Jan. 16-17 MN Assn of Agricultural Educators, St. Cloud
Jan. 19 MN River Valley Educational Conference, Madison, MN
Feb. 4-6 MN Elementary School Principals Assn, Bloomington
Feb. 20 MN Conference on Science Education, Mankato
Feb. 23 MN Conference for the Social Studies, Brooklyn Park
Feb. 27-28 MN Schoolyard Garden Conference, Chanhassen
Fantastic Resources
  Minnesota Ag in the Classroom - Lanoue Family Farm
Farm Family Videos
MAITC partnered with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Communication Team to develop videos focusing on three farm families.  These videos will be used at our Teacher Champion Schools and are a perfect chance to get a glimpse into Minnesota Farm Family Life. 

  kids in the garden
FREE School Garden Focused Workshops
MAITC staff member Zoe Hastings is traveling the state to provide schools with workshops featuring hands-on, standards-based garden activities. Each workshop is designed to fit the needs of educators at your school and build on your current garden use. Contact Zoe Hastings at [email protected] or 651-201-6260.
My American FarmMy American farm logo
My American Farm is a website, created by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, with free agricultural games & activities for students. Downloadable lesson plans and activities are included.  Log on to www.myamericanfarm.org and have fun!
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