ITHACA, N.Y. — Established in 1985, New York Agriculture in the Classroom (NYAITC) has always strived 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.
In recent years, New York Agriculture in the Classroom has worked hard to increase their reach throughout the state of New York, offer new and exciting programs and opportunities to students and teachers, and connect educators to their growing network of agricultural enthusiasts. The New York Agriculture in the Classroom team realized an opportunity to capitalize on their exponential growth this year and added Jeremiah Best as a Classroom Educator to its dynamic team on July 1st.
As a Classroom Educator, Best will work directly with teachers to utilize high-quality, hands-on agriculture lessons from across the country in ways that will allow teachers to experience learning through agriculture and why it positively impacts student learning. Best will also write agricultural literacy program content, take an active role in planning and implementing programs to support classroom engagement opportunities, such as Virtual Field Trips, and work with industry groups to create new partnerships.
Jeremiah Best grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and moved to New York after deciding to make a career change from the business sector to pursue a career in the education field. He received an undergraduate degree in elementary education and a graduate degree in literacy education from SUNY Cortland. Best has worked in the formal education system for over a decade, with experiences in almost every K-12 position; from substitute positions to a five-year appointment as a fifth-grade elementary teacher working with students from urban, suburban, and extremely rural communities.
Best has also been highly recognized for his outstanding efforts as a classroom teacher with the Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the National Agriculture in the Classroom Consortium this year. He earned this award for his work embracing a school and community garden as a way to help his students deal with a recent increase in student suicides and strengthen their critical thinking skills by developing biomass fertilizer using compost, prevention devices to keep wildlife out of the garden and a Bluetooth automated drip irrigation system.
Best will be bringing his background as a classroom educator to his Classroom Educator role with NYAITC to help teachers access and develop the resources and tools they need to successfully and seamlessly incorporate agriculture into their curriculums. Be it maple, trout, gardens, pollinators, organic fertilizer, forest management, 3d printing, or composting, Best believes by allowing standard based classroom instruction to revolve around agricultural literacy, students of all levels and from all backgrounds are able to become highly successful citizens. He will be helping New York teachers apply this methodology to engage students, foster cognitive growth, develop intrapersonally and gain skills such as grit, responsibility, confidence, value, and working well with others.
As Best transitions from the classroom and into his position with New York Agriculture in the Classroom, he looks forward to being able to continue to further develop his network of great classrooms, programs, and districts throughout New York State. He also looks forward to being able to share in their successes and bring more classrooms, programs, and districts onboard. Along with fulfilling the organizational mission of NYAITC, he will also be an advocate and a proponent of such learning at the local, state, and national level allowing NYAITC to provide more support and resources to our students, schools, and communities and allowing for more fully prepared and informed 21st century citizens.
New York Agriculture in the Classroom is excited to offer support to teachers in their mission of weaving agriculture into their curriculums and educating New York’s youth with such an accomplished and outstanding Classroom Educator. Please join them in welcoming Jeremiah Best to the team!
For more information about New York Agriculture in the Classroom and the contact information for our Educator, visit the New York Agriculture in the Classroom website at www.agclassroom.org/ny. New York Agriculture in the Classroom is a partnership of Cornell University, NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, NYS Education Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and NY Farm Bureau. New York Agriculture in the Classroom fosters an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of our food and fiber system.
–New York Agriculture in the Classroom
For more articles out of New York, click here.