BKW teacher receives New York Agriculture in the Classroom Scholarship to attend national conference in Maine

Aquaculture, school gardens, oxen, whoopee pies, distilleries, sustainability, biodiversity and more will be the focus of this year’s National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Portland, Maine. For the first time, New York Agriculture in the Classroom has dedicated scholarship funding to provide sixty New York teachers the opportunity to attend the premier professional development conference about teaching through a lens of food and agriculture. The scholarship is valued at over $1,200 for each winner.

BKW teacher Sarah McArdle
BKW 5th grade teacher Sarah McArdle

Sarah McArdle is a 5th grade teacher who’s love of agriculture and its importance to our lives, instills this in her students daily. “It is our responsibility to teach our students the various forms of agriculture that is found in each of their own lives. I am eager to attend this conference to learn more of how we, at BKW, can teach agriculture to all of our students in a variety of methods.”

During this unique experience teachers will network with educators from across the country, participate in over thirteen experiential learning workshops, and bring home resources with the latest technology, methods, and tools for integrating agriculture and food systems in their classrooms. This year’s conference theme is “Agriculture for ME – On Land and Sea”. Educators will receive a scholarship value of $1,200 which includes National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference registration, transportation, lodging, and 28 hours of CTLE Professional Development Credit.

Fifty-one teachers, including Sarah McArdle at Berne-Knox-Westerlo, eight Cornell Cooperative Extension educators, and one post-secondary administrator were awarded scholarships. The teachers span in grade levels from Pre-K through grade twelve in all subject areas, and range in teaching experience from one to thirty-two years. The organization is most proud that the attendees are representative of each region of New York State; from north of the Adirondack Mountains in Franklin County, as west as Buffalo, throughout the heart of Central New York, surrounding the Capital District, and a strong contingent from four of New York City’s boroughs and Long Island.

“It is of great excitement that we can provide this exceptional professional development experience to so many educators from across our state. I know that each scholarship recipient will leave the conference with plans on how they will use agriculture as a vehicle for student learning and achievement,” says Katie Carpenter, Director of New York Agriculture in the Classroom.

New York Agriculture in the Classroom is an outreach program of Cornell University, with a goal to increase the agricultural literacy of our students so that they may be able to understand and communicate the source and value of agriculture as it affects their daily lives. Special thanks to the New York Farm Bureau State Promotion and Education Committee for assistance in reviewing applications and providing recommendations in this competitive process.

For a full list of winners, please visit the New York Agriculture in the Classroom website.