Cream of the Crop

May 2005

1. California AITC Conference - Call for Proposals
Oct. 20-22, 2005 Sacramento
Deadline: May 31, 2005
Do you have intriguing ag literacy ideas to share with others? We invite you to present your ideas and resources with California educators and ag literacy volunteers during the Sacramento conference. Proposals are currently being accepted for:

Space is limited! Fill out a proposal form online. Acceptance notifications will be made in June.
General registration will be open in June.

2. National AITC Conference
June 8-11, 2005 Indianapolis, Indiana
Educators of all grade levels and subject areas are encouraged to attend this year's national Ag in the Classroom Conference in Indianapolis. Participants will explore agriculture Indiana-style and experience hands-on and mini workshops, a make-and-take fair, plus a special ag-designed teacher store. Hotel accommodations are at the Westin Indianapolis. To receive the AITC rate, you must reserve your room by 5:00 p.m., May 9, 2005. Registration information is available online at See you there!

3. Dairy Council of California
May is Osteoporosis Month followed by Dairy Month in June! Dairy Council of California has numerous online resources to help educators and students make the connection between calcium and healthy bones. Check out Now We're Cooking Recipes. Then, Put Your Beverage to the Test. And, don't forget the Calcium Quiz for adults and kids. There's lots more in store at Dairy Council's Web site... Check it out! After all, California is the nation's largest dairy-producing region, and milk and cream are our state's top commodities.

4. Forestry Institute for Teachers (FIT)
Space is still available in two of three institutes being offered:

For more information, visit or call 800/738-8733.
A $20 non-refundable application fee is required.

5. Intro to Ag Biotech - High School Educator Workshops
Investigate the role of biotechnology in agriculture, explore historical context and modern day applications of ag biotech, receive exciting laboratory protocols and resource material, and understand the controversial issues surrounding the technology.
Two opportunities:

June 16-17, 2005 American River College, Sacramento
Contact Jeffery O'Neal at 916/484-8660
Aug 10-11, 2005 Gavilan College, Gilroy
Contact Shannon Bishop at 800/847-0373

Visit for information on the North Valley/Mountain Biotech Center.

6. Biodiesel Resources and Classroom Activities
Biodiesel is cleaner than fossil fuel diesel. It can be used in any diesel engine with no need for modifications. In fact, diesel engines run better and last longer with biodiesel. Biodiesel can easily be made from a common waste product -- used cooking oil. Learn how to make your own biodiesel in the classroom.
For more information, visit

7. Garden Crusader Award Program
Deadline: June 1, 2005
Garden Crusaders improve the world through gardening, and Gardener's Supply (GS) wants to encourage crusaders across the country! GS is offering $18,000 in cash and products to 30 gardeners across the country who are making a difference. Categories include Education, Feeding the Hungry, Beautification, Urban Renewal and Restoration.
For more information, and to nominate, visit

8. Allen Foundation
The Allen Foundation supports educational nutrition programs, with priority given to training programs for children and young adults to improve their health and development. Past grants have ranged from $2,000 to $1 million! Eligibility: Schools and school districts should partner with local nonprofits to form nutrition education programs.
For more information, visit

9. Nutrition Decathlon Tool Kit
The Nutrition Decathlon Tool Kit, designed by the Health Education Council, combines physical activity with nutrition education, providing games, activities, and taste-testing opportunities that focus on fruits and vegetables. The activities, linked to the California State Content Standards, reinforce classroom learning. The kit includes a complete list of materials needed, setup and layout guidelines, staffing suggestions, and step-by-step activity directions.
Order for $39.95 plus tax and shipping/handling, from

10. School Nutrition Success Stories
Has your school site or district taken steps to improve students' nutrition and physical activity practices? Let the Health Education Council know about your success and have your story promoted on their Web site.
Please send stories to Ramona Mosley or visit

11. School Garden Teacher Training and Support Project
July 11-15, 2005, Occidental
Application deadline: May 27, 2005
Applications are being accepted to the five-day School Garden Teacher Training and Support Project at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center. The intensive residential program offers hands-on skills and theoretical approaches for promoting and supporting the creation of school gardens. Training is offered in such areas as organic gardening, art in the garden, recycling, nutrition, state standards, and garden-based curriculum. The cost is $350 for teachers, $250 for parents and volunteers. Extended education units are available.
For more information, contact Tina Poles at 707/874-1557 ext. 202. Find applications at

12. 2005 National Children & Youth Garden Symposium
July 28-30, 2005, Atlanta, GA
Discover the importance of connecting kids to plants! At this national conference, you can gather tools and discover effective ways to teach in the garden classroom.
For details, log onto

13. Great Valley Center Central Valley Regional Conference
May 11 - 12, 2005 Sacramento
The conference theme, Growing a Community, refers to the Central Valley's agricultural roots and to the belief that intentional, informed decisions made by the region's citizens will mature into communities that work-in short, a region boasting a diverse economy with good jobs, healthy families, an effective education system and balanced use of natural and social resources.
For more information, and to register, visit or contact Heidi Arno.