Cream of the Crop

January 2005

1. Imagine this... Statewide Winners Announced
The state winners for the 2004-05 Imagine this... story writing contest have been selected. We are proud to announce the names of these talented authors from up and down the state!

By Blake Vierra, 3rd Grade
Maxwell Elementary School - Dena Lausten, Teacher
Colusa County
"Super Baling Man"
By Rebecca White, 4th Grade
Williams Middle School - Angela Stephens, Teacher
Colusa County
"Vegetable Stars"
By Loris Mousessian, 5th Grade
Fremont Elementary School - Sherri Downer, Teacher
Los Angeles County
"No Agriculture"
By Eva Healy, 6th Grade
Joaquin Moraga School - Ellen Georgi, Teacher
Contra Costa County
"Pig Pride"
By Tyler Sweet, 7th Grade
Grenada Elementary School - Debbi Hoy, Teacher
Siskiyou County
"Doggie Duties"
By Brianna Edlund, 8th Grade
San Gabriel Christian School - Christie Curtis, Teacher
Los Angeles County

The six stories, being illustrated and animated by Sacramento-area high school art students, will debut in video format during National Agriculture Week in March 2005. However, the stories are available to read now!

2. Gardening Workbook Available Online
Are you involved in developing or revamping a school garden? CFAITC now has a resource on its Web site that may be of great use. The newly revised "Farming is Food, Fiber, Flowers... and Fun!" originally developed by The Agricultural Network, is a 72-page workbook that helps get gardens growing. Its coverage spans from writing a mission statement and designing the garden to available resources, working with volunteers, and fundraising. The workbook is available only by downloading from

3. DataStreme Atmosphere
Weather affects the agricultural industry everyday. A 13-week training for weather education resource teachers is available through the Internet to pre-college level teaching professionals. Applications are sought from persons who can demonstrate potential for leadership as resource teachers. Three semester-hour graduate course credits are awarded through the State University of New York College at Brockport.
For more information, visit or contact Dr. Steve LaDochy at 323/343-2222.

4. Ohlone Outdoor Learning Conference
Jan. 15, 2005 - Palo Alto
Keynote speaker Delaine Eastin, former California Superintendent of Public Schools, sets the stage for a lively exchange of skills, information, and experiences related to outdoor learning. Topics range from practical demonstrations of gardening techniques to example lessons from math, science, and the arts and humanities. A sampling of workshops includes: "Pond Lessons," "Plant Use by Native Peoples," "Renewable Energy," "How Do We Get Food?" and "Haiku Writing Outdoors." Registration is $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Cosponsored by the Ohlone Farm and the "Getting Going Growing" project of the Foundation for Global Community and Gamble Garden.
For more information, contact, or Mary Klein at 650-857-0232.

5. Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program in Los Angeles
Deadline to apply: Jan. 31, 2005
Residents of Los Angeles County can apply for this training program to learn how to teach low and limited-resource people how to grow and eat more nutritious vegetables. Application process requires fingerprinting and a $100 fee. Classes are Saturdays 9 am - 4 pm, March 12 through May 28, 2004. For more information and an application, contact Gloria Mitchell at the UC Cooperative Extension LA Common Ground Garden Program at 323/260-3348.

6. Genomics: From Mendel to Microchips July 10 - 15, 2005
Application deadline: Apr. 1, 2005
Discover the role of genomics in agriculture, medicine, ecology, and other areas. Davis is offering a genomics workshop in which participants will receive exciting genetics and genomics laboratory protocols and resource material for the classroom. Hands-on laboratories are supplemented with lectures from researchers and tours of campus facilities. This program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Partnership for Plant Genomics Education, University of California, Davis. Institute attendance, room, and board are free, but participants need to cover travel costs. Three units of academic credit are available.
For more information, contact Barbara Soots at 530/752-6552 or visit to apply online.