Cream of the Crop

December 2006

Imagine this... Story Writing Contest - Regional Winners!
The 2006 regional winners have been selected in the Foundation's story writing contest. This year, 44 regional winners from California are now vying for top statewide honors. The list of regional winners is available on the CFAITC Web site. Statewide winners will be announced after the first of the year. Congratulations young authors!

California School Garden Network Event Calendar
The new CSGN Event Calendar focuses on California events and opportunities related to school gardens or ag literacy. Search by region, county, event type or audience, or post your own event. Visit

Instructional School Garden Program
The Instructional School Garden Program (AB 1535) provides funds for school garden equipment and supplies or for school garden professional development. Grants are available for $2,500 or $5,000 depending on number of students enrolled. Visit for more information about the application process.

Outdoor Classroom Grant Program
Deadline: Dec. 31, 2006
Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation, International Paper and National Geographic Explorer! classroom magazine have partnered to create an outdoor classroom grant. The goal is to provide schools with additional resources to improve their science curriculum by engaging students in hands-on experiences outside the traditional classroom. Grants up to $2,000 will be awarded to at least 100 schools. In some cases, grants for up to $20,000 may be awarded to schools or school districts with major outdoor classroom projects. All K-12 public schools in the United States are welcome to apply.
For more information, and to apply, visit

2007 Toyota TAPESTRY Grant
Deadline: Jan. 18, 2007
A partnership of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and the National Science Teachers Association, the Toyota Tapestry program offers grants to K-12 science teachers for innovative projects that enhance science education in the school and/or school district. Toyota Tapestry grants will be awarded in three categories: Environmental Science Education, Physical Science Application, and Literacy & Science Education. Fifty grants of up to $10,000 each and a minimum of 20 "mini-grants" of $2,500 each will be awarded for the 2007 competition.
For more information, visit

Champions for Healthy Kids Grant Program
Deadline: Feb. 1, 2007
Each year, the General Mills Foundation awards 50 grants of $10,000 to 501(c)(3) and 509(a) status not-for-profit organizations and agencies that develop creative ways to help youth adopt a balanced diet and physically active lifestyle. A Registered Dietitian (RD) or Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) must either be directly involved or serve as an advisor. How can a hands-on connection with agriculture affect eating and exercise habits?
For more information, and to apply, visit

Arbor Day Poster Contest
Deadline: Mar. 1, 2007
The poster contest is open to all California fifth graders. The theme for 2007 is "Trees are Terrific...and forests are too!" For more information and to request a free activity guide, contact Kay Antunez at 916/653-7958 or visit

Bottle Biology
Learn how to explore science and the environment with soda bottles and other recyclable materials. Create decomposition columns, bottle gardens and more. This Web site includes step-by-step instructions for bottle construction and background information for concepts such as decomposition, fermentation, and other natural cycles--all of which can be observed in a bottle.
Bottle Biology:
For more ideas, subscribe to AgroWorld E-zine:

Winter Agriculture
Winter isn't the end of the harvest in California--there's more going on in agriculture in December and January than just poinsettias and pomegranates. Some crops will be in their peak demand and availability, such as avocados, kiwifruit, and oranges. And some will be preparing for next year by enjoying the chill hours, such as almonds, prunes, and peaches.
Check out our commodity fact sheets for more information and activities.