Established in 1985, New York Agriculture in the Classroom (NYAITC) is a partnership of Cornell University, the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, the NYS Education Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the New York Farm Bureau.
Our 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.
We work with pre-K through middle school teachers, Cornell Cooperative Extension and other community educators, farmers and producers, volunteers, parents, and community partners to increase agricultural literacy in New York State.
Less than 2% of our population actually produces food on farms, while nearly 20% of our nation's workforce is in some way, shape, or form involved in the processing, marketing, distribution, and sales of food and fiber products. We all rely on agriculture every day--from food we eat, fibers our clothes are made of, and other materials we use each day to agriculture's relationship with our environment, economy, and society. And yet, little is taught in most schools about agriculture and food and fiber systems. NYAITC aims to increase agricultural literacy while supporting opportunities for hands-on teaching and learning, meeting state standards, enhancing student achievement, and connecting with community.
NYAITC envisions a day when educators, students, and communities in New York:
See how the Agricultural Education Outreach team is providing educational opportunities that develop informed consumers and help students of all ages to become agriculturally literate.
In 2003, Lt. Governor Mary Donohue, along with State Agriculture Commissioner Nathan L. Rudgers and State Commissioner of Motor Vehicles Raymond P. Martinez, unveiled New York's "Ag Tag" custom license plate, the proceeds from which will benefit the New York Agriculture in the Classroom Program.
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