Established in 1985, New York Agriculture in the Classroom (NYAITC) is a partnership of Cornell University, the NYS Department of Ag & Markets, the NYS Education Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the New York Farm Bureau. Its mission is to foster awareness, understanding, and appreciation of how we produce food and fiber, what we eat, and how we live, by helping educators, students, and their communities learn about and engage with agriculture and food systems.
New York Ag-in-the-Classroom and the Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H program invite you to be a reader for the annual Agriculture Literacy Week to be held March 19 to 23, 2018. Last year, 2000 books were donated to school or classroom libraries and books were read by volunteers to thousands of second graders throughout New York State.
The selected book for 2018 is Before We Eat: From Farm to Table by Pat Brisson with illustrations by Mary Azarian.
We are proud to feature a book that displays the vast opportunities and diversity that New York agriculture encompasses this year. Students will be taken on the journey from farm to table to understand different aspects of agriculture and the many possible careers involved. This is a captivating glimpse on what it takes to bring the food we eat to us in order to nourish our bodies and spirits.
From the busy hub of New York City, to the mountains of the Adirondacks, and to the fertility of the Finger Lakes our state is expansive and encompasses all types of agricultural industries. Careers and post-secondary education opportunities are abundant in traditional and developing food-centric industries. Agriculture contributes over $37 billion to the New York State economy and ranks in the top ten in the nation for yogurt, apples, grapes, calves, and onions, among other products. These products and industries create careers essential to the food system that are not always initially thought of: arborists, soil engineers, animal geneticists, butchers, aquaculturists, truck drivers, grocers, and more.
STEM careers and post-secondary opportunities related to the grape industry are also growing in our state; from grape production, research, crop management, processing, tourism, and hospitality. It will be essential for our students to understand the importance of grapes as an economic driver in communities across New York, and develop an awareness for future career possibilities. All lessons, activities, and companion materials are aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards.
Volunteers will visit local elementary schools during Ag Literacy Week to read and talk to children about New York's agriculture industry. At the conclusion of the day's activities, the book will be donated to the school library for students and teachers to use throughout the school year. 2nd grade teachers and volunteers who are interested in participating in NY Ag Literacy Week should call or email the contact for this page. Visit the New York State Ag in the Classroom website to learn more about statewide activities and to learn about agriculture-themed books that have been featured in other years.
Last updated January 5, 2018