December 17, 2018

Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) and the MAITC Foundation have announced the recipients of this year's Agricultural Literacy Grants. Grants of up to $1,000 were awarded to one 4-H program, one children’s museum and 12 teachers to encourage them to make agriculture and food systems education part of school curricula.

Projects will utilize funds in a variety of ways and support agricultural literacy for students ranging from kindergarten through high school. Teacher Stephanie McCleery of St Paul’s Central High School plans to take her AP Human Geography students on a full day farm tour field trip during a Food and Agriculture unit.

“Agriculture is something that impacts all of us every day,” said Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Whitney Place. “The Ag Literacy Grant project goals are to provide learning opportunities through experiences and resources—even pairing it with other subjects, to raise that awareness and value. Congratulations to all of the awardees!”

The MAITC Ag Literacy Grant recipients are:

  • Jeremy Engebretson, Monthly Ag Lessons and Field Trip, Victoria Elementary, Chaska, MN.                                    
  • Joan MacDonnell, One Vegetable, One Community Project, Congdon Park Elementary, Duluth, MN. 
  • Tera Kaitsas, Aquaponics Project and Field Trip, Integrated Arts Academy, Shorewood, MN.                                  
  • Stephanie McCleery, AP Human Geography Farm Tour Field Trip, Central High School, St. Paul, MN.                   
  • Jana Timm, Beekeeping Project, Freshwater Education District, Wadena, MN.                                                               
  • Angela Mellies, Production Ag Exhibit, Wheel & Cog Children’s Museum, Hutchinson, MN.                                    
  • Alysa Tulibaske, 4-H Day Camps, Marshall County 4-H Federation, Warren, MN.                                                           
  • Jessica Bester, Ag Careers Day, Ogilvie Public Schools, Ogilvie, MN.                                                                                     
  • Jason Toupence, Aquaponics Project, St. Peter Middle School, Mankato, MN.                                                               
  • Ryan Melkert, 2nd Grade Ag Integrated Science, Martin County West–Sherburn Elementary, Sherburn, MN.
  • Beth Sletta, Ag-Themed Books, Jefferson Elementary School, St. Peter, MN.                                                                     
  • Katie Bellmont, Hatching Science Project, North Trail Elementary, Apple Valley, MN.                                                 
  • Erin Guenther, First Year Teacher Grant, Mahnomen Elementary School, Mahnomen, MN.                                    
  • Emily Holley, Compost Bin, Meadowview Elementary School, Apple Valley, MN.                                                                     

MAITC's mission is to increase agricultural literacy through K-12 education. An agriculturally literate person is defined as someone who understands and can communicate the source and value of agriculture as it affects our quality of life. MAITC seeks to improve student achievement by applying authentic, agricultural-based content as the context to teach core curriculum concepts in science, social studies, language arts and nutrition. By encouraging teachers to embed agriculture into their classroom, MAITC cultivates an understanding and appreciation of the food and fiber systems that we all rely on every day.

For more information about Ag Literacy Grants, visit the MAITC website or contact Keri Sidle at 651-201-6280  



Media Contact
David Van Amber, MDA Communications