July Highlights from MN Ag in the Classroom

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom

Minnesota  Agriculture in the Classroom Newsletter

July 2016

Best Wishes Al Withers!

Program Director Retires after 31 years

Al Withers

On August 2nd Al Withers will exit the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) program after serving as the one-and-only director of this program for the past 31 years.  We have asked Al to reflect on his many years of service in this month's Teacher Feature.

Teacher Feature

Al Withers - MAITC Program Director

Al Withers with elementary principals

Why should students be agriculturally literate? My first reaction is to simply say ‘because they eat and wear clothes’ every day! A more complex answer centers on them being the future! They will be our future leaders, policy-makers and career workforce. It’s important they are taught baseline information about agriculture throughout their formative years. This in turn will help them to embrace some historical perspective about our ever-changing agricultural system, allowing them to understand and communicate the source and value of agriculture as it affects quality of life, not only in American but across the globe.

What have been the biggest successes in your 31 years with Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom? Not many education programs have had the “staying power” that MAITC has had over the past 31 years. That is in large part due to our unique public/private partnership, drawing on financial and human resources from Minnesota’s great agriculture community and the long-term commitment of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Al Withers with students

>> Read More

National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference

K-12 teachers, agricultural advocates and Agriculture in the Classroom staff members gather in Phoenix, Arizona June 20-24, 2016 for the National Agriculture in the Classroom  Conference.  Fantastic keynote speakars, energizing break-out sessions and networking events allowed attendees to gain insight and ideas for growing agricultural literacy. 

Tom Frericks, 5th grade teacher from Silver Bay, MN was recognized as the Minnesota State Winning Teacher and also as a CHS Scholarship Recipient. Tom is on the far left in the photo below.

CHS Scholarship Winners

Specialty Crop Booklet

specialty crops

Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) is requesting proposals from talented individuals or teams to create a 10-lesson Specialty Crop Lesson Booklet.  This is one of four projects that are in development as part of a Specialty Crop Block Grant awarded to MAITC by the USDA.  Information on this opportunity can be found at http://www.mmd.admin.state.mn.us/process/admin/ptList.asp Reference number: PT2457.

Proposals are due August 1, 2016.

Wanted: MAITC Foundation Board Members

Foundation Meeting

The Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation is seeking applications for new board members.  Please visit http://minnesota.agclassroom.org/foundation/board.cfm for more information and to complete the online application.

Fantastic Resources

We were inspired and entertained by The Bug Chicks, keynote speakers at the 2016 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference!  Explore their awesome videos and fantastic educational resources. http://thebugchicks.com/

Bug Chicks pose with butterflies
Minnesota Made magazine

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture launched it's 2016 issue of the Minnesota Made Magazine.  Explore this resource that gives an interesting glimpse into our state's vibrant agriculture community. It is available for FREE in both print and online. http://www.farmflavor.com/minnesota-agriculture

Agriculture Trivia

Congratulations to Carrie Allord for being the first person to respond with the correct answer to our June trivia question.  Carrie knew that the average Minnesotan eats about five pounds of strawberries each year. The other top responders were Katrine Bender, Brigid Sandager and Maureen Hauck.

July Trivia - The first person to email the correct answer for the question below will win a reusable bag from the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference! 

In 1984 the Minnesota legislature adopted an official state drink.  What is Minnesota's state drink? 

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