February Highlights from MN Ag in the Classroom

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Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom

Minnesota  Agriculture in the Classroom Newsletter

February 2016

MAITC Foundation Awards Ag Literacy Grants

Over $10,000 given to educators!

Baby Chicks from St. Michael Catholic School
Rachel Olmanson, Art Teacher at St. Michael Catholic School in Prior Lake, used Ag Literacy Grant funds to purchase egg incubators and integrate the life cycle of chickens into many subjects while recording and documenting the hatching process in her art classes and classes of several of her teaching colleagues.

The Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) Foundation proudly offers an agricultural literacy grant program.  Cash awards (maximum of $1000) are offered to encourage educators to integrate agriculture into their classroom and curriculum.  FFA, 4-H and other non-formal educational groups are also encouraged to seek funds to host ag literacy events and activities.  Congratulation to the 2016 Grant Winners!

  • Red River Valley Fair Association, Moorhead, MN - Grant Use: Technology for a kiosk at the county Ag Education Center
  • Cedar Park Elementary STEM School, Apple Valley, MN - Grant Use: Create a Ag Resource Center and greenhouse supplies
  • Christ the King Catholic School, Browerville, MN - Grant Use: Create raised planting beds
  • Cottonwood County 4-H, Windom, MN - Grant Use: Accurate agriculture books
  • Greenvale Park Elementary, Northfield, MN- Grant Use:Transportation for field trip to a dairy farm
  • Jackson County Central FFA, Jackson, MN - Grant Use:Garden start-up supplies including fencing, garden tools, soil, plants and seeds
  • Kingsland FFA, Spring Valley, MN - Grant Use: Supplies for Urban Ag Day at Rochester Elementary School
  • Linwood Monroe Arts Plus, St. Paul, MN - Grant Use: Accurate agriculture books, student observation tools such as magnifying glasses
  • Pierz Healy High School and FFA, Pierz, MN - Grant Use:Farm Tour Day that will allow students to tour four local farms
  • Pine Harbor Christian Academy, Hastings, MN - Grant Use: Seeds, plants, worm box, compost bin, and MAITC book bundles
  • Pipestone Area FFA, Pipestone, MN - Grant Use: Activities for Ag Literacy Barn at the county fair
  • Redwood Falls Public Library, Redwood Falls, MN - Grant Use: Materials for agricultural themed early literacy center
  • Sleepy Eye FFA, Sleepy Eye, MN - Grant Use: Livestock banners for display at county fair, animal carnival and other public events    

Featured Teacher

Mr. Dan Gruhlke

Mr. Dan Gruhlke

Kindergarten Teacher

Pinewood Elementary School, Monticello, MN

Mr. Gruhlke has worked with young children, primarily as a kindergarten teacher, for over twenty-five years and has been a long-time advocate for agricultural literacy.

Why do you believe it is important for our teachers and students to be agriculturally literate? Let’s help shape and reconnect the future by educating the young about their food source through presentation and experience. This is my drumbeat of the importance of teaching agricultural literacy from the ground up.

What impact has integrating agriculture in your curriculum had on you and your students? What has most struck me throughout the years is how awed students are at growth. It strikes them at their roots. It readies them to absorb greater truths of growth through interdisciplinary integration of academia, and it’s done with smiles and intrigue. Isn’t that the glory and effervescence of education?

Planting Sunflowers

 >> Learn More

CHS Scholarships for 2016 National Ag in the Classroom Conference

The CHS Foundation is sponsoring 45 teachers from across the nation to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference June 20-24, 2016 in Phoenix, AZ. Engaging workshops, tours, keynote speakers and networking events will provide exceptional learning opportunities for these teachers to increase their comfort level in agriculture and also integrate agricultural content into Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, Math and Health/Nutrition education.  Applications are due February 29, 2016.

CHS Scholarship Winners
2013 CHS Scholarship Winners

>> Learn More

Fantastic Resources


Check out this free quarterly e-zone designed for science and technology teachers! http://agclassroom.org/agroworld/index.htm

AgroWorld Image

America's Heartland

America's Heartland is a weekly public television series that celebrates agriculture.  Explore hundreds of episodes that feature the people and processes that feeds, fuels and clothes consumers here and around the world. http://www.americasheartland.org/

America's Heartland logo

Agriculture Trivia

Minnesota Ag Expo Bag and Hat

Congratulations to Kristen Gustafson for being the first person to respond with the correct answer to our January trivia question.  Kristen knew that Minnesota ranks at the top of the U.S. in green pea production. Washington leads the U.S. in green pea yield but Minnesota has the largest number of acres planted and harvested.  Both answers - 1st and 2nd - were accepted as correct.  The other top ten responders were Mark Wackerfuss, Sara Britton, Neil Kruse, Mary Schmidt, Eldanesta Saaijman, Gertrude Jensen, Chrissie Ten Eyck, Tracy Bockbrader, and Joan Paggen.

February Trivia - The first person to email the correct answer for the question below will win a hat and bag from the MN Ag Expo.

What is the scientific name (Genus and species) for field corn?

Email you answer to Sue Knott to be eligible for the prize!