Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom

Alaska AITC has been around for over 30 years and is a program dedicated to the providing teachers with the resources to integrate agriculture literacy into their classroom learning.

FSWCD is the coordinator for the Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom program (AK AITC). Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom is a statewide program.

Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom is a 501c3 educational program begun by the Alaska Farm Bureau  to help Alaska's students understand that farms are the source of their food and flowers, as well as fabrics and fuels.

You can email us at if you have a request or want more information about our program and what we offer.


What Is Agriculture in the Classroom?

The mission of Agriculture in the Classroom is to "increase agricultural literacy through K-12 education." An agriculturally literate person is defined as "one who understands and can communicate the source and value of agriculture as it affects quality of life." Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) programs seek 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, AITC cultivates an understanding and appreciation of the food and fiber system that we all rely on every day.  

- From the National Agriculture in the Classroom (click for link) website.


National Agriculture in the Classroom

Click HERE to review the valuable resources available from the National AITC organization. Grants and scholarships are available to educators. 

NAITC has a wonderful curriculum matrix of quality lessons on many agriculture topics. Click HERE to access this free resource.


Alaska Agriculture

Agriculture in Alaska is amazing and quite different from agriculture in many other places.  Yes, Alaska has some extreme temperatures, but because it also gets more hours of daylight in the summer, some crops actually grow better in Alaska.   Click HERE for an overview of Alaska Agriculture statistics. 


Bushel Basket Live Online Reading Event

Are you Interested in engaging your students to connect to the land and literacy? Join Alaska Agriculture in The Classroom virtual live event to celebrate spring during the week of March 21-25, 2022.


Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom is offering schools the opportunity to attend the 2022 Virtual Bushel Basket Live interactive reading presentation from March 21-25, 2022. Though our state is enormous, this virtual platform can connect students across the state to learn together about agriculture in Alaska and how they are connected to agriculture every day. This program aims to increase student knowledge about where their food comes from within the state and how agriculture impacts their daily lives. We have invited agriculture professionals from around the state to read selected books on Zoom during this live event. Your class will get the opportunity to meet farmers, state legislators, agricultural researchers and have a chance to connect to Alaska Agriculture through literacy.

There is no cost to participate in this program. It’s fun and free Agriculture Literacy for your students! We are pleased to offer this opportunity, made possible with the support of a grant from the Alaska Farm Bureau. All books chosen for this event have been researched for legal permission to be read aloud on an online platform and the event will not be recorded.

If you and your staff are interested in participating in the Bushel Basket Reading Program have one teacher or staff member complete the online registration. One of the Agriculture in The Classroom staff will follow-up with you to send you the secure zoom link.

Application is due by: March 14, 2022

How to register:

Register to participate by completing the online google form HERE.


PreK Lessons:

Our newest set of lessons for children ages 3-5 was made possible with a generous grant from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and was made possible through the creative and professional talents of Diane Hunt.

They include activities for Alaska based agriculture stories and age appropriate reading, learning and exploration, movement, music, nutrition, and crafts. They are based on early childhood learning guidelines from the state of Alaska.

Please click HERE to see the new Pre-K lessons.


Indoor Gardening Curriculum


Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom is pleased to share the Alaska Indoor Gardening Curriculum. In the spring of 2017, AK AITC was awarded a grant from the National Agriculture in the Classroom organization to develop this resource. The development of this work was supported in part by the Agriculture in the Classroom Grant no. 2017-38858 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. It was also supported by a grant from the Alaska Farm Bureau and the EPA in collaboration with the University of Alaska. It is an ongoing project and still expanding every year. 

This curriculum is a compilation of lessons developed by the Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom program, the National Agriculture in the Classroom (NAITC) organization, and educators throughout Alaska who have developed, reviewed, and piloted many these activities.  All lessons are easily downloadable and ready to use. Please feel free to share this resource with anyone who can use it.

Click HERE to go to the Indoor Gardening Curriculum.



Click HERE for Agriculture in the Classroom lessons that can be downloaded and used in classrooms.


Celebrate Alaska Agriculture Day 

Alaska Agriculture Day is the first Tuesday of May each year. On this date, learn more about the farms around you and the state. Celebrate with Alaska Grown foods and support your local growers. Click HERE for an Alaska Agricultural lesson plan you can use. 


Resources Available

FSWCD has a large assortment of Agriculture in the Classroom resources available for loan. 

Click here to see the list of BOOKS in our library.

and other teaching RESOURCES

Click here for a list of GARDENING related books that we have in our library.

Click HERE for a list of ways to learn more about Alaska Agriculture and agriculture in other states.

Click HERE for an article about Seeds in Winter by Patrick Ryan of the Alaska Botanical Garden


Agriculture in the Classroom Educator Institutes

AK AITC offers a graduate credit course in Agriculture Literacy, Enhancing Agricultural Literacy for Regular Education, Gifted and Special Education Teachers. This course offers Agricultural Literacy training through fun, hands-on study and investigation of agriculture education resources. It will assist new educators and those who want to expand their classroom offerings as they learn how to integrate agriculture lessons into their classrooms. This course is available to other educators as well including homeschool educators, girl scout, 4H and FFH leaders. This course is an introduction to the many resources available through the Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom program, and interdisciplinary methods, including STEM, to teach principles of agriculture. 

Participants will:

If you wish to have a course offered in your area, please contact Mel Sikes at 907-479-1213 x 105 or email her at .



2020 Courses

February 29th, 2020 - Mel Sikes in collaboration with FFA, Yukon Farms, and UAF's Upward Bound program presented a workshop for 64 students and educators on Indoor Gardening techniques and automation of the hydroponic grow towers.

March 6th, 2020 - Mel Sikes and Heidi Chay presented an all day Indoor Gardening Workshop  workshop for 22 educators at Kaleidescope School in Kenai 


2018-19 Courses

January 25-26, 2019 -  Amanda Macomber and Mel Sikes presented a workshop for 7 teachers to integrate indoor gardening projects into their classrooms.

February 1-2, 2019 -  Casey Matney, Heidi Chay, and Mel Sikes presented a workshop for 5 teachers and 2 volunteer master gardeners to integrate indoor gardening projects into classrooms.

September 21, 2019 -  Mel Sikes and Dr. Will Hutto presented an 8 hour workshop for 17 educators on ways to integrate indoor gardening projects into their classrooms.


2017 Courses

June 6-9th, 2017 - Sharon Lockwood and Mel Sikes presented a 4 day workshop at The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) with 9 students.

August 25-27, 2017 - We held an Ag in the Classroom Educator's Workshop in Juneau from August 25-27th, 2017. UAF Cooperative Extension Agent Darren Snyder and Mel Sikes were the instructors. 5 teachers participated in the workshop.