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New York Agriculture in the Classroom


Teacher of the Year

2021 Teacher of the Year Announced!

Each year, we celebrate an outstanding New York teacher who uses agricultural literacy materials and/or activities in the classroom to such an extent as to merit statewide recognition. Winning teachers receive an expense paid trip to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference, held in a different location in the United States each year. The 2021 winner will travel to Des Moines, Iowa to be recognized for their accomplishments.

Each year, NYAITC recognizes an outstanding New York elementary or secondary school teacher (or team of teachers) who uses agricultural education materials and/or activities in the classroom to such an extent as to merit our special award. For their excellence in teaching about and utilizing agriculture in their classroom, the winning teacher will have the opportunity to:

  • Submit an application for the National Agriculture in the Classroom Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture award sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  • Attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Des Moines, Iowa on June 28- July 1, 2021, with expenses paid.
  • Receive at-school recognition of the teacher and their accomplishments.
  • Certified teachers currently engaged in classroom instruction in the Pre-K through 12 levels.
  • Teachers must be integrating agricultural concepts into traditionally non-agricultural curricula,
  • Providing opportunities for students to engage in and study about agriculture,
  • And/Or utilizing innovative approaches to advancing agricultural literacy in the classroom.
  • The teacher does not necessarily need to be currently using NYAITC curriculum or programs.
  • Applicants may be self nominated, or an application could come from an individual or a team of teachers working together.
Review Process

Applications will be evaluated by a review committee who will score based on a rubric of 100 possible points. Scores will be averaged for each application.


25 points - Creativity and Utilization of Agricultural Information

  • The degree to which sound agricultural concepts have been infused into the classroom curriculum.
  • References should be made to the creative methods utilized in advancing student learning.

25 points - Interdisciplinary Approach

  • The degree to which agricultural concepts have been included in a variety of subjects or topics.
  • Value will be placed on the approach which teaches agriculture across the curriculum or subject.

25 points - Student Impact

  • Evidence of positive change in behavior, student attitudes and overall learning.

25 Points - Overall Impact, Longevity of the Program

  • Evidence of historical and new agricultural concepts introduced. This may include food systems.
  • Sustainable living, local agriculture, carbon footprint, community impact, nutrition, and more.

Meet Our Teacher of the Year

2021 Teacher of the Year – Patricia Eshelman

New York Agriculture in the Classroom (NYAITC) is pleased to announce the selection of Patricia Eshelman, a high school teacher at the Bolivar Richburg Central School District, as the 2021 Teacher of the Year. Eshelman prioritizes learning through agriculture through relevant and engaging cross-curricular learning experiences and is well-deserving of this recognition.

Past Winners