Cream of the Crop

August 2005

2005 Imagine this... Story Writing Contest
Deadline: Nov. 1, 2005
It's time again for the popular story writing contest for grades 3-8. Brochures with entry forms for this year's contest are now available. Download or request one for yourself and one for a colleague.

California AITC Conference
Oct. 20-22, 2005 Sacramento
The brochure for the 2005 conference is now available online, along with Program at-a-Glance and a photo gallery from last year. But, what actually happens at this two-day event for educators? Find out online as it's happening! This year the conference will feature an online component that will give armchair travelers the inside perspective.
The new feature will follow the experience of several participants as they attend workshops and make 'n' takes, go on tours, and visit exhibits. Each day they will post their activities and opinions to the CFAITC Web site.
Are you interested in sharing your experience online? Please contact Renee Hyatt to sign up!

One Book Sacramento
Oct. 6, 2005 and Oct. 21, 2005
Epitaph for a Peach by David Mas Masumoto is the October selection for the Sacramento area book club "One Book Sacramento: Connecting Our Communities." Several local organizations, including The Sacramento Bee, support this Sacramento Public Library program.
Meet the author at a reception on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2005 at 6 p.m. in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria at the Central Library. Call 916/264-2867 or visit for more information.
Masumoto also will be speaking on Friday of the CFAITC Conference at the evening barbecue to be held at the Cal Expo fairgrounds. Visit the CFAITC Web site to register for the full conference or just the dinner. Call CFAITC at 800/700-AITC for more information.

Outstanding Educator of the Year
Nomination Deadline: Oct. 28, 2005
Application Deadline: Nov. 25, 2005
Don't wait to nominate an educator or to submit your own application. It's easy to enter! Simply tell us how you use agriculture in your classroom and how your students benefit from the experience. The winning applicant will receive a complimentary trip to both the National Ag in the Classroom Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey and AITC California Conference in 2006.

Back to School Mailing
The newest issue of Cream of the Crop will be hitting mailboxes the first week in September. Have you not yet subscribed to this free newsletter? No problem! Read it online and then sign up to receive your own copy. This subscription to ag literacy ideas will not expire.

2006 National AITC Conference
June 20-24, 2005 Atlantic City, New Jersey
Presentation proposals are now being accepted for the 2006 National AITC Conference. Download the proposal form and submit to Joni Elliott by Oct. 1, 2005. For more information contact Ms. Elliott at 609/633-7463.

Employment Opportunity
Application Deadline: Aug. 12, 2005
School Gardening Program Specialist - Los Angeles Unified School District
The School Gardening Program Specialist coordinates and supports all program activities of teachers, students, parents, volunteers, public agencies, private organizations, and businesses at schools participating in the district's Nutrition Network Program. Gardens are primarily used to facilitate nutrition education. For more information about the Nutrition Network, please visit For more information about the employment opportunity, please visit

California State Fair

California Ranchland
Aug. 12-14 at the Livestock Pavilion. Children of all ages--with and without previous experience in ranching--can try their hand at ranching by working at two dozen working 'ranchette' stations with real animals and ranching activities.
Farm Camp
Fridays, Aug. 19, 26, and Sept. 2
Want to know what it's like to live and work on a real working Farm? The Demonstration Farm at the State Fair is opening its doors and offering kids aged 6-12 the chance to see first-hand what California farm life is all about. Kids can enjoy hands-on agricultural activities, crafts, stories around the campfire, and a Texas BBQ for supper. The cost is $20 per child (not including admission to the Fair or parking). For an additional $10, children can stay overnight in tents. Continental breakfast is included. Parents or guardians can experience the fun with their children at either event at the same price.

For more information, visit

Fall and Winter Garden Plant Sale and Open House
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center
Aug. 27 and 28, 2005 Free admission
Come and choose from hundreds of varieties of California Certified Organic heirloom brassicas, lettuces, salad greens, chards, leeks, and herbs as well as old-fashioned annual flowers. Select from an array of ornamental and edible perennials propagated from collections at the center.
The plant sale is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the OAEC grounds will be open to exhibit educational programs with a self-guided tour of demonstration stations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and refreshments and entertainment will be provided.
For more information, visit

UC Davis School Garden Workshops
Cost: $15 per session
Three workshops will be available this fall for parents and educators to support school garden programs through fun, hands-on activities. Participants will gain ideas and materials to support their educational work in school gardens, and most activities are linked to CA state academic standards.

For more information, visit or contact Katie Hume at 530/752-7655.

2005 AAW Convention
Nov. 10-13, 2005 Monterey
The California Women for Agriculture will host the 30th annual American Agri-Women Convention in Monterey. The convention is open to anyone interested in learning more about the latest trends and changes in U.S. agribusiness. Activities include tours of agricultural production in the famous 'Salad Bowl of the World', the Salinas Valley, where attendees will see everything from artichokes to wine grapes.
For more information, visit

Grant and Award Opportunities