Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Changes abound within Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Program


ST. PAUL, Minn. – After 31 years as Program Director of Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC), Al Withers is retiring. Withers is a long-time advocate of agricultural literacy, having helped introduce the popular AgMag and AgMag Junior student publications and continually expanding the MAITC program during his tenure as Program director. His last day with MAITC will be August 2nd.

To help continue the efforts of MAITC after Withers’ departure, Keri Sidle has been hired as an Education Specialist. Sidle is a native of Jacksonville, Florida and has been an agricultural education teacher for the past six years. Most recently, Sidle taught agriculture and served as an FFA Advisor at Rockford Middle School.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Keri Sidle to the MAITC team. She brings enthusiasm and experience working with K-12 teachers and students,” said Sue Knott, MAITC Education Specialist. “She will be able to expand our connections with teachers throughout the state and offer guidance and encouragement for integrating agriculture into lots of academic subjects, like science, social studies, and language arts.”

Sidle will work directly with colleges and school districts across the state to offer professional development opportunities with an agricultural focus. She will also work alongside Sue Knott to continue the work of MAITC by producing program resources like AgMag and AgMag Junior, Food for Thought, and the School Garden Guide. MAITC staff will also continue to develop new educational resources and build awareness of the program for educators throughout the state of Minnesota.

MAITC is a unique public/private partnership between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the MAITC Foundation. The program provides a variety of K-12 educational materials and professional development opportunities to Minnesota’s educational and agricultural communities. For more information about this program please visit


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