January Highlights form MN Ag in the Classroom

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Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom

Minnesota  Agriculture in the Classroom Newsletter

January 2016

MAITC Outstanding Teacher Award Winner- McKenzie Gregory, Rockford Middle School

Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) is pleased to announce that this year's winner of the Outstanding Teacher Award is McKenzie Gregory from Rockford Middle School. McKenzie was a participant in MAITC's first ever Summer Teacher Tour. After the tour, McKenzie worked to build an Exploratory class for middle school students that focused on the process of producing milk that started with "grass" and ended with a "glass" of milk. The class is titled "From Grass to Glass".Throughout this 9 week course, her students explore and discuss sustainable dairy farming practices, investigate the use of robots on innovative dairy farms, learn about the nutrition of milk, complete a dairy related service project and end the class with a field trip to a local dairy. This statement from McKenzie sums up the agriculturally-focused positive impact she is having with students: "Incorporating agriculture into my part of the STEM education our school strive to provide, continues to bring me joy and motivates me to help students become lifelong learners about whatever they love most." Congratulations McKenzie!


MN Youth Institute


The Minnesota Youth Institute engages high school students in solving local and global hunger issues. The interactive, day-long program brings teens from across the state to the University of Minnesota for an immersive science experience and an opportunity to connect with research and industry leaders. MNYI serves as a gateway to the World Food Prize Symposium and global travel, paid internships while still in high school, and a scholarship to the University of Minnesota.

A great introduction lesson to the event can be found the Curriculum Matrix here.

Quick Search Engine For Ag Themed Lessons


The Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix is an online, searchable, and standards-based curriculum map for K-12 teachers. The Matrix is an online collection of educational resources that are relevant, engaging, and designed to meet the educational requirements and agricultural literacy outcomes for formal educators.  

Teachers at all grade levels can access the Matrix materials through an easy-to-use search engine found at mn.agclassroom.org/matrix . For example, instead of sifting through hundreds of thousands of results from a Google search of “dairy lessons for elementary students,” a search of “dairy” reveals two lesson plans that are already connected with agriculture literacy outcomes, content standards, and Common Core standards.The lessons that make up the Matrix come from collaborative efforts by agriculture literacy professionals who submit resources for inclusion to the database. Those materials are reviewed and evaluated based on how well they connect with agriculture literacy outcomes, content standards, and Common Core standards.

 Visit mn.agclassroom.org/matrix to access the Matrix and find lessons that fit your classroom.

Fantastic Resources


Winter Lesson Idea

As we all attempt to stay warm this winter in Minnesota, this is great lesson for 3rd-5th grade students. In this lesson the book, Anna Needs A New Coat is featured. You can purchase the book or watch a YouTube reading. Students will learn about the seasons, become familiar with the process of wool production, and explore how trade and barter have historically allowed people to satisfy their needs and wants.


AgMag Archives

The AgMag publication has been flagship of MAITC since its first issue over 30 years ago . Did you know that 15 years of previous AgMag issues are archived on the AgMag website? Take a look at 2006-2007 Issue 1 for an article on about the 2006 summer drought.

Agriculture Trivia

Congratulations to Patrick Byron for being the first person to respond to our December trivia question.  He knew that both Norway Pine and Blue Spruce Christmas trees are grown in Minnesota.

January Trivia - The first person to email the correct answer for the question below will win a winter hat from the Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education (MAGE).

What is the only month that has no official observations of snow in Minnesota?

Email you answer to Keri Sidle to be eligible for the prize!