Cream of the Crop

April 2005

1. Cream of the Crop
Have you received the Spring issue of Cream of the Crop? This educator newsletter is published twice a year and is available through free subscription. Read it online and send us a request if you'd like to receive future issues by mail.

2. What's Growin' On? California's Colorful Bounty
What's Growin' On? California's Colorful Bounty, the third edition of this educational newspaper supplement, is now available. It takes you on a journey through California - agriculture-style. Reinforce reading and writing concepts while teaching different aspects of agriculture, meeting people involved in it, and learning about agriculture's impact on land use, the economy and its role in society. This year's edition focuses on several of California's leading commodities including hay, cattle, strawberries, and dairy. "The Sport's Page" and the center spread "California -- The Nation's Salad Bowl!" are sure to be a hit with all students grades 4-8.
Request your free classroom set from CFAITC while supplies last.
An accomanying teacher's guide is available on the CFAITC Web site. The guide shows educators how to continue teaching about agriculture using the daily newspaper as the resource.

3. 2004-2005 Imagine this... Video
The Regional Opportunity Program (ROP) students at Sheldon High School's K-9 Studios have worked their magic on each of the 2004-2005 Imagine this... Story Writing Contest winning stories. Over 70 students illustrated, narrated, and animated Airborne, Super Baling Man, Vegetable Stars, No Agriculture, Pig Pride, and Doggie Duties. Visit the CFAITC Web site to watch full-length video clips of each story and see behind the scenes footage on how it all came together.
The deadline for entries in the 2005-2006 contest is Nov. 1, 2005. Use creative writing to meet California Content Standards and further the understanding of agriculture in students' lives.
For more information, visit

4. Teacher Resource Guide
Interactive on the Web or CD

2005 marks the second year that the Teacher Resource Guide is available on CD. This edition's improvements include the ability to easily browse or search through resource entries. Preview it on the Web or order your copy today. Also available in paperback.

5. CFAITC 2004 Annual Report
California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom's 2004 Annual Report includes a retrospective survey of Foundation accomplishments as well as recognition of donors and a financial overview.
Download from the Web site or request a printed copy from

6. Be Californian Bee
The "California Grown" program is on a statewide search for an agricultural whiz kid. Fourth through eighth grade students are encouraged to participate in the first-ever California Grown "Be Californian Bee" competition.
Contests will take place in four cities:

The first 100 eligible students who register at each event location will have the opportunity to compete. Registration begins at 8 am and the competition starts at 10 am. Regional prizes are $500, $250 and $150 savings bonds with one local winner moving on to a final "spin off" in the Sacramento area for the chance to win a $5,000 savings bond and a trip to Disney's California AdventureTM Park! The "spin off" will take place on May 21, immediately following the regional competition in Elk Grove. The official "California Grown" Whiz Kid will be named at the conclusion of the "spin off."
For more information visit

7. Employment Opportunities Report 2005-2010
This full-color, 16-page booklet describes projected job opportunities for U.S. college graduates in the food, agricultural, and natural resources system. It highlights areas where graduating students are most likely to find jobs and describes factors that are driving trends in the job market.
View booklet PDF online or purchase in late April from Purdue University.

8. Ag in a Bag
Apr. 9, 2005 8:30 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
117 North Pine St., San Gabriel, CA 91775
This professional growth inservice is comprised of four different sessions:

For more information, contact Clarence Atwater at 626/287-0486.

9. Life Lab Conference
Apr. 9, 2005
CSU, Monterey Bay
Life Lab and the Monterey Bay Science Project are hosting the 8th annual Spring Conference at California State University, Monterey Bay. This year's theme is "Threads of Learning: Weaving Science through the Curriculum." Teachers, garden coordinators, administrators, and parents will enjoy morning sessions, keynote speakers, and an afternoon Make and Take/Resource Fair. Registration is $50 or $25 for full-time students. One unit of course credit is available for an additional fee ($60).
For more information, visit or contact Alicia Dickerson at 831/459-5395.

10. 2005 Farm Water Poster Contest
Deadline: Apr. 18, 2005
Water Awareness Month is celebrated statewide in May and the California Farm Water Coalition is conducting its 5th annual Water Awareness Month Poster Contest. All fourth-grade students are invited to create a poster depicting how California farmers use water to grow everything under the sun.
For specific details, visit or contact Mike Henry at 916/441-7723.

11. FarmFest 2005
Apr. 30, 2005 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Hansen Agricultural Learning Center, Santa Paula
If you live in or are visiting the southern end of the state, don't miss this event! UC Hansen Trust is hosting a day of family fun and education about agriculture at the Hansen Ag Learning Center near Santa Paula (Ventura County). Visitors can explore demonstration plots and gardens; tour historic Faulkner House; and enjoy kid-friendly hands-on ag activities, good music, food, and a relaxed atmosphere. FarmFest is free to the public.
For more information, visit or call 805/525-9293.

12. Melinda Gray Ardia Foundation Grants
Deadline: Apr. 9, 2005
K-12 teachers worldwide are invited to apply for grants of $1000 to develop or implement environmental curricula that incorporate hands-on ecology exercises. Curricula that encourage integration of multiple disciplines and include cooperative work with multiple school districts will be given special consideration.
For more information, visit

13. ING Unsung Heroes Awards Program
Deadline: Apr. 30, 2005
ING financial services organization is offering 100 awards of $2,000 each to K-12 educators in the United States to help further their projects within their school or school system. Each year, three top winners are selected from the 100 finalists to receive additional awards of $25,000, $10,000, and $5,000.
For more information, visit or contact Scholarship America at 800/537-4180.

14. National 4-H Youth in Action/Community Tree Planting Grant
Application deadline: May 6, 2005
A limited number of grants from $500 to $1,750 are available to 4-H/Extension programs. The goal is to provide opportunities for young people and adults to take action with ongoing community tree planting and or reforestation projects or to stimulate new and creative youth-led projects. Find the application at Click on "2005 Tree Planting RFP" at the bottom of the page under "Related Links."
For additional information, e-mail

15. California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers
Nursery Industry Fund for Innovation and Excellence
Proposal Deadline: May 13, 2005
Funding requests of any amount will be considered, though available funds will generally limit individual grants to no more than $20,000. Project topics include classroom materials to integrate horticulture, professional development programs for teachers or nursery industry employees, recruitment materials for students to study horticulture at high school or college level, outreach materials to education consumers about horticultural services and products, and materials or programs that inform about the economic, social, and environmental benefits of the green industry.
For more information, contact Dr. Mark Shelton at 805/756-2161.

16. Sustainable Agriculture & Organic Farming: Principles and Practices
June 27-Aug. 18, 2005
5 Units UC Davis Credit, Fees: $888
Field activities focus on developing a broad range of practical skills and knowledge used in certified organic crop production including crop, soil, water, and pest management; composting; tractor and equipment operations; and harvesting and marketing crops. Lectures and discussions focus on scientific principles and explore broader issues related to sustainability.
For more information, visit or contact Mark Van Horn at 530/752-7645.