Cream of the Crop

March 2005

1. Newly Updated Teacher Resource Guide Available
The 2005 Teacher Resource Guide (TRG), compiled by the Foundation, is a must-have tool for educators and volunteers working toward agricultural literacy. The free guide lists an array of materials available to support such an endeavor. This edition may be downloaded in its entirety or in sections, and is also available in paperback or CD format. This year's CD contains both PDF files and a new interactive, searchable format.

The TRG is available by request only. Please order now to get your copy as soon as possible. Books will be available at the end of March, and CDs by the end of April. Delivery takes two to four weeks. Multiple copies may be ordered for inservices and conferences. Please include a brief description of the event and the number of participants expected.

2. Sonoma County Farm Bureau National Ag Day Celebration
Mar. 22-23, 2005
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
(Reservations due Mar. 7)
Visit Sonoma County Fairgrounds to see "Agriculture in Action." Students will have the opportunity to see farm animals and learn about food, fiber, flowers, environmental studies, growing plants, and raising animals. Schools are encouraged to make reservations for field trips.
For more information, contact Sonoma County Farm Bureau at 707/544-5575.

3. Composters Make it From the Ground-up
Mar. 5, 2005
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
San Marino
This $15 course explores the variety of compost methods used to change food scraps into nutrient-rich plant fertilizer. Includes standards-based activities for your classroom curriculum.
For more information, contact Huntington Education at 626/405-3586 or e-mail Mike Kerkman.

4. Food Handling is a Risky Business
Mar. 7 - Apr. 10, 2005
This online course is available for $65 through the University of Massachusetts Division of Continuing Education. Sign up for 1.5 CEUs, available for an additional $10 fee. The goal of this course is to increase knowledge and applications of bacteriology and food microbiology as they relate to safe food handling at home and in the workplace.
For more information visit or

5. 2005 California Agriculture Symposium
Mar. 23-24, 2005
California's Secretary of Agriculture A.G. Kawamura is keynote speaker at this symposium. Information will include water, trade, environmental pressures, sustainability, biotechnology and more. Commodity-specific topics will range from the development of salt tolerant alfalfa varieties to the technology for growing mushrooms from recycled urban waste.
For more information visit

6. COPIA KIDS Garden - Grand Opening
Apr. 10, 2005
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
In this specially-designed garden, youngsters and their adult companions are encouraged to see, smell, touch and taste plants that are grown for food, beauty and nourishment. Children will investigate a variety of plants grown for food, and learn how various parts of a garden work together to create a food system. The COPIA KIDS Garden features fun, educational and exploratory areas, including the Gardeners' Shed; Herb, Flower and Vegetable Beds; a Fruit Tree Orchard; a Chicken Coop and Rabbit Hutch; a Habitat Walk; Compost Bins; and "Dig In," an area where children can dig and design their own mini-garden.
For more information visit or contact Kathleen Iudice at 707/265-5950.

7. Forestry Institute for Teachers (FIT)
Application deadline: Mar. 15, 2005
In 2005, three institutes will be offered:

For more information, visit or call 800/738-8733.

8. 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. UC 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.


Healthy Sprouts Award (Deadline Mar. 31)
Twenty-five award package of seeds, tools, garden products, and educational resources for growing a vegetable garden are available. Five also receive $500 cash and a $200 gift certificate to the Gardener's Supply Company catalog.
Kids Growing With Dutch Bulbs (Deadline Apr. 1)
This award supplies 500 schools with a package of 200 premium Dutch flowering bulbs.
Research Support
Two page document compiled by the National Gardening Association lists kids' gardening research studies to help justify proposals. (PDF)