The Land of 10,000 Lakes is hosting the Land of 10,000 Ag Opportunities in June in Minneapolis.
That will be the home base for three days of meetings and tours of the 2013 National Ag in the Classroom Conference.
Minnesota Ag in Classroom staff has been planning the national conference for more than a year and they are eager to host ag educators from across the U.S.
"This is the first time we've hosted this in Minnesota," says Al Withers, MAITC program director. "We've lined up tours and speakers to help showcase Minnesota ag and people. We have 46 workshops, 15 learning labs and one full day of tours. Plus, we have two great speakers, chef Andrew Zimmern and Wisconsin dairy farm and author, Cris Peterson."
Peterson is a children's book author and operates a family dairy farm. She will speak about writing, reading, history and farming. She will give the kick-off luncheon keynote.
Zimmern is an internationally-known TV personality, chef, food writer and teacher. He is co-creator and host of 'Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern' and a 2010 James Beard Award for Outstanding TV Food Personality. He will give the closing dinner program keynote on 'Global Food and Culture.'
Withers says that MAITC is still looking for more exhibitors and sponsors.
"I encourage our leading state's ag organizations to collectively educate all teachers and other attendees about agriculture," he says. "We want to put our best foot forward in Minnesota."
The conference begins Tuesday afternoon, June 25, and runs through Friday evening, June 28, at the Marriott City Center in downtown Minneapolis. Educational sessions will be held Wednesday and Friday during the conference at the Marriott. Eleven all-day tours are scheduled for Thursday, June 27.
Tour options for that day include:
– Fur Trade, the Big Bad Wolf and Cris Peterson Dairy Farm
– Syngenta, Modern Production Agriculture and Organic Movement
– Commerce on the Mighty Mississippi, Horticulture/Nursery and Giving Back
– Hmong Market Gardens, General Mills and Minneapolis Milling History
– Talking Turkey, Ethanol Production and Faribault Woolen Mill
– Bonnie Mohr Studio and Glenmark Dairy, and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Horticulture Center
– Baseball and Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Turkey Production
– Horse Racing, Modern Dairy and a bit of Wine!
– Robotic Dairy, High Tunnel Vegetables and Cargill Global Perspective
– Where the Buffalo Roam, Home of the Grange and Christmas Trees/Forestry
Optional post-conference tours are offered Saturday, June 29. They include going to the Mall of America, visiting Fort Snelling, attending a Twins Game or enjoying historic Stillwater on the St. Croix River for shopping, wine and antique browsing.
All K-12 educators are invited, including administrators, curriculum developers, career guidance counselors, substitute teachers, AITC volunteers, state AITC contacts, agricultural science teachers, Extension educators, AITC board members and agricultural industry representatives.
To encourage teacher attendance, the CHS Foundation is providing a $15,000 grant that would allow 40 teachers to attend the conference. To be eligible, teachers must be employed by a school system and currently teaching in grades K-12 in the U.S. Applications for scholarships must be completed and submitted online by March 1 and scholarship announcements will be made by March 15.
Recipients will receive $375 to cover the early bird registration fee. Information and instructions for registration will be given when applicants are notified. All other expenses, including hotel and transportation, will be the responsibility of the recipient.
Each teacher application will be reviewed by a committee of agricultural literacy stakeholders with knowledge of agriculture and education. Evaluators will score applications based on each applicant's agricultural literacy in his/her curriculum; why the applicant wants to attend the conference; how experiences gained at the conference will be used in the future.
Early bird full registration by April 15 is $375. By May 15, registration is $400; after May 15, $425.
To register for the conference, please visit www.agclassroom.org/conference2013
Contact the Marriott City Center, 1-866-315-9403, for room reservations and ask for the 2013 Ag in the Classroom National conference rates. Conference rates are available until June 3.
For more information about the conference, please contact Al Withers, Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom; firstname.lastname@example.org; 651-201-6688.