Cream of the Crop

October 2006

Imagine this... Story Writing Contest
Deadline: Nov. 1, 2006
Teachers and librarians, there are only four weeks left to submit stories to this contest for grades three through eight! Regional winners will be announced on Dec. 1, 2006. Statewide winners will be announced on Jan. 1, 2007 and their stories will be turned into animated films. DVDs of the 2005 contest are still available. Request yours for free while supplies last.
Imagine this... contest information

2006 CFAITC Conference
Oct. 19-21, 2006 Burbank
Early bird and hotel reservation deadlines extended until Wednesday, Oct. 4. Register today!
The 2006 CFAITC Conference's range of speakers will reveal agriculture's lasting connections.

Eve Bunting
Author of more than 250 books, including Market Day and Sunflower House.
Rose Hayden-Smith
4-H Youth Development and Master Gardener Advisor will present Getting to the Roots: how the history of school/youth gardening can inform--and inspire!
A.G. Kawamura
Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture
Jim Morris
Program host with California Country television program, Morris will emcee A Taste of California luncheon.
Andra Simmons
Author of new book, What Anna Loves, based on memories of growing up on a family ranch.
Daniel P. Tripoli
Writer, editor and producer of the three-part farming documentary about the past, present and future of modern Los Angeles.

Some tours and workshops are already full; register today to choose your favorite and create your own connection.

What's Growin' On? Lasting Connections
The fifth edition of the What's Growin' On? newspaper will be available in late October. Pick up a class set at our annual conference in Burbank, or pre-order through the Web site (requests will be shipped in early November). Copies of the fourth edition are still available. Request a free set while supplies last.
Accompanying interactive activities will be available online in the Kids' Corner at

Gardens for Learning: Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden
Saturday, Oct. 21, 2006 Los Angeles
The California School Garden Network (CSGN) will launch a new comprehensive guidebook during a work day at Locke High School in Watts. Students, teachers and volunteers will unveil their new school garden and then plant seedlings, trim trees, and complete the finishing touches. There will also be an interactive resource fair with over 25 booths with prizes, handouts and information about volunteerism, school gardens and healthy living. This event is offered as a workshop choice during the 2006 CFAITC Conference and every conference participant will receive a copy of the eagerly awaited publication. Free copies of the guidebook will be available to California educators through the CSGN Web site at
Contact Kelly Cormier, CFAITC at 800/700-2482 or Darci Sagara, CAPCA at 916/928-1625 ext. 201 for more information.

The Story of California Milk
Two videos from the California Milk Advisory Board are now available online. The Story of California Milk and The Cheesemakers give behind-the-scenes looks at how milk goes from cow to carton in your local supermarket and shows each step from separating curds and whey to packaging aged cheese for distribution. Both films will be included on DVD in registration bags at the 2006 CFAITC Conference.

Electroactive Bioplastics from Corn
Today's robots are nimbler than ever thanks to artificial muscles made of conductive polymers derived from cornstarch. This "plastic" bends, bulges, and contracts when stimulated by electricity. Efforts are also underway to put these same polymers to work in biomedical applications, specialized sensors, light-emitting diodes, and even the next generation of robotic Mars rovers.
Learn more about this technology: (PDF)
Source: AgroWorld Newsletter

Growing Space
Growing Space is an educational magazine written for sixth grade science students, and produced by Space Agriculture in the Classroom, that highlights agricultural applications of innovative research conducted during space missions. It has been cross-referenced to learning standards established by the National Science Teachers Association.
Download a free copy at

Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant
Deadline: Nov. 15, 2006
The Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program gives small monetary grants to schools, nature centers, or other non-profit educational organizations for the purpose of establishing outdoor learning centers. Project goals should focus on the enhancement and development of an appreciation for nature using native plants. Cash awards range from $100 to $500.
For more information, visit

Where would Halloween be without agriculture?
Use these resources to incorporate ag themes into your fall celebrations.

Bats Incredible!
Grades 2-4
AIMS Education Foundation
Pumpkin Circle Video and Book
Grades K-4
Native American Gardening: Stories, Projects, and Recipes for Families
Fulcrum Publishing

Each of these resources are listed in the Teacher Resource Guide. Download it from our Web site, or request it free in book or CD format.

Communications Coordinator Joins CFAITC
Please join us in welcoming Kelly Cormier to the Foundation. Kelly serves as Communications Coordinator with a primary focus on increasing the visibility of CFAITC programs and resources among educators in California. In addition to promotion and outreach of our efforts, she will also coordinate the production of the Cream of the Crop educator newsletter and the Outstanding Educator of the Year awards. Originally from the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County, Kelly received her degree in political science at UC Davis. Welcome Kelly!
Contact Kelly Cormier at 800/700-2482.