Cream of the Crop

February 2006

New Fact and Activity Sheet Features Cotton
A brand new Fact/Activity Sheet has been added to the stack! Now, CFAITC offers a bundle that is 26 strong. These one-page resource favorites provide facts about a specific agricultural commodity or natural resource; the flip side of the sheet gives ideas for classroom activities and discussions. The new cotton sheet features the many uses of the plant, history and innovation of the industry, and fun facts. The facts and figures on all fact sheets are updated annually.
Download the new cotton sheet, or the whole set, from

Outstanding Educator of the Year 2006
California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom is pleased to announce the 2006 Outstanding Educator of the Year: Lawrence Omeje. Mr. Omeje teaches at Yokomi Elementary in Fresno County. Don't miss his presentations at the National AITC Conference this summer in Atlantic City and at the California AITC Conference in October in Burbank.

The following teachers also received recognition for their efforts in increasing awareness and understanding of agriculture among California's students. Congratulations educators!

Vocational Agriculture Educator of the Year
Gary Nelson, 9-12th grade teacher, Pershing High School, Fresno
Teacher of Excellence for County Curriculum Development
Carolyn Alexander, 2nd grade teacher, Tierra Linda Elementary, Ventura County
Teacher of Excellence for Statewide Leadership
Mary Landau, K-6th grade teacher, R.D. White Elementary Early Education and Extended Learning Program, Los Angeles County
Service to the Foundation
Carolyn Tassey, K-5th grade teacher Donn B. Chenoweth Elementary, Merced County

What's Growin' On?
Have you requested your free set of student newspapers? California Agriculture... More Than You Can Imagine! is the new fourth edition and is available in class sets up to fifty. Request online at For larger quantities contact Pam Emery.

National Ag Week is March 19-25, 2006
A lot of work goes into getting our food from field to table. Take some time this week (specifically National Ag Day, March 20) to reflect on how fortunate we are to have such a productive and efficient agricultural system. Celebrate with these ideas and others in your community:

CFAITC Celebration Dinner, Mar. 21, 2006
Enjoy dinner at the Sutter Club in Sacramento and help us recognize the winners of the Imagine this... Story Writing Contest and theeir stories brought to life when the Imagine this... video is premiered at the ceremony.
Materials from Agriculture Council of America
Free planning guide includes ideas for events, strategies for building support and awareness for your event, sample press release, and more. Other materials include lapel pin ($5.00 each), fact cards (150 cards for $5.00), posters (25 for $10.00), and prints ($35.00 each).
San Benito Farm Day, Mar. 14, 2006
Contact San Benito County Farm Bureau at 831/637-7643 for more information.
Napa Farm Day, Mar. 17, 2006
Contact Napa County Farm Bureau at 707/224-5403
Sonoma County Ag Days, Mar. 22-23, 2006
Schools are encouraged to take field trips for students to learn about farm animals, the source of their food, environmental studies, fiber, flowers, and more. Enter bookmark, essay, poster, farm art, or mural contests.
Sonoma County Farm Bureau 707/544-5575
California Agriculture Day, Mar. 29, 2006
View the winning entries of the Children's Ag Art Show, sponsored by CDFA, at this annual event. See entry below for more information.
CFAITC Wine Tour, Apr. 1, 2006
Enjoy a wine tasting tour in Temecula, experience the ambiance of the 180-year-old Stone House at Temecula Creek Inn, and support the Foundation at the same time!

California Agriculture Day and "Art in Agriculture" Student Art Contest
Contest Deadline: Mar. 15, 2006
Event Date: Mar. 29, 2006
California Agriculture Day at the State Capitol will feature free agricultural products and information, display of winning entries from the art contest cosponsored by CFAITC, school garden display, livestock & farm equipment, and more!
Visit for contest details and entry form.

California Curriculum Guidelines for Ag Literacy Awareness (CCGALA)
Are you interested in bringing a hands-on in-service focusing on agriculture to your school? The CCGALA workshop will be presented by a trained educator and will provide teachers with information on lesson plans that meet state standards while also teaching students about agriculture. Contact Nancy Gutierrez at 800/700-AITC to schedule an on-site in-service by June 1.

3rd Grade Cabbage Growing Program
Deadline: Request plants ASAP
Class sets of cabbage plants are available from Bonnie Plant Farm for your students to carry home and grow. These Over Size Cross cabbages may grow to more than 40 pounds and bigger than a basketball. The student who grows the largest cabbage in their class will be entered in a statewide drawing for a $1,000 scholarship. One teacher from all who request cabbages will be awarded a scholarship to the 2006 California AITC Conference. Class winner's form and picture must be received by September 1, 2006.
For more information visit; to request your plants e-mail or call Tim Marchiando at 877/919-3384.

Life Lab Workshops and Conference

Mar. 3, 2006 Santa Cruz, CA
Creating Gardens for Learning ($125)
Learn how to take the first steps of creating a living laboratory including setting goals for your site, gathering input from users, making a fundraising plan, finding volunteers and donors, publicizing your garden and connecting to academic standards.
For more information, visit or call 831/459-2001.
Mar. 25, 2006 Santa Cruz, CA
Discovering the Garden in Early Childhood Education ($125)
Learn how to incorporate garden activities into a pre-school program or into family life and discuss appropriate garden design, safe plants for pre-school gardens, and garden art projects and songs.
For more information, visit or call 831/459-2001.
Apr. 1, 2006 Seaside, CA
Ninth Annual Spring Science Conference ($40 before Mar. 8)
Three breakout sessions with a choice of many different pa href=""> at 831/459-5395.

Tomato Time: A Year's Worth of Activities for Second Graders
Mar. 25, 2006 UC Davis Plant Science Bowley Teaching Center
This workshop will show you how to use garden-based learning to teach nutrition and support standards in math, language arts, science and history-social science, while exploring one of our region's most important crops. The Tomato Time activities are correlated to 2nd grade standards, and can be adapted for other grade levels.
For more information, contact Jeri Ohmart at 530/752-7655.

Ag in the Bag II--Good Food, Good Exercise, Good Living
Mar. 4, 2006, San Gabriel, CA
This free teacher in-service features six sessions about nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices, and the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agriculture Literacy Awareness. One CEU is available through ACSI.
Reserve your place by contacting Clarence Atwater at 626/287-0486 by Feb. 22, 2006. The first thirty to make reservations and attend will receive a tote bag full of resources from CFAITC.

AgroWorld Newsletter
This bimonthly e-zine has been developed for the secondary educator and their students. Each issue features current events, classroom resources, activities, and grant opportunities that enhance standards based on science, applied technology, and social studies curricula. View the current issue at
To subscribe, visit

USDA Living Science Career Posters
From agricultural economist to wood scientist, this Web site describes a multitude of possible careers in the food, agricultural, and natural resource areas. Visit to read the descriptions; call the Higher Education Program of USDA at 202/720-1973 to request mini-posters (5 1/2" x 8 1/2", gummed pads) of the Living Science career series.

California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers
Nursery Industry Fund for Innovation and Excellence
Proposal Deadline: May 12, 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