Cream of the Crop

January 2007

Imagine this... Story Writing Contest - Statewide Winners!
Six state winners have been chosen from over 40 regional winners. These students put pencils to paper and fingers to keyboards when challenged to write a story that expressed their appreciation of agriculture. Each story from the third through eighth grade winners will be handed over to high school students for animation and narration. The resulting film will debut during National Ag Week (March 19-23, 2007) in Sacramento. But, you don't have to wait that long to explore the creativity of these authors--visit the CFAITC Web site to read the full text of each story.

Cow vs. Farmer
by Andrew Moss
3rd grade, San Bernardino County
Mariana School - Suzi Smith, Teacher
The Best Buffet Ever
by Brenna Gittins
4th grade, Placer County
Gittins Homeschool - Julie Gittins, Teacher
The Journey of Wallace Waterdrop
by Bo Cherry
5th grade, Colusa County
Arbuckle Elementary - Debra Scott, Teacher
A Scarecrow's Diary
by Samantha Coombs
6th grade, Colusa County
Lloyd G. Johnson Jr. High - Kelli Griffith-Garcia, Teacher
Rice Ready
by Cheyenne Rogers
7th grade, Colusa County
Our Lady of Lourdes - Erin McGowan, Teacher
Honey Bzzz
by Amelia Clyatt
8th grade, Siskiyou County
Golden Eagle Charter School - Sandy Scofield, Teacher

Outstanding Teacher of the Year
California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom is pleased to announce the 2007 Outstanding Teacher of the Year: Dianne Swanson. Ms. Swanson teaches second grade at Los Cerritos Elementary School in Los Angeles County. The following teachers also received recognition for their efforts in increasing awareness and understanding of agriculture among California's students. Congratulations educators!

Vocational Agriculture Teacher of the Year
William (Bill) Loveridge, High School Ag Teacher, Loyalton High School, Sierra County
Vocational Agriculture Teacher of the Year
Kimberley Ann Miller, High School Ag Teacher, Mission Viejo High School, Orange County
Teacher of Excellence for Special Education
Christina Wilkinson, 6th-8th Grades, Lillian Larsen School, San Luis Obispo County
Teacher of Excellence for Language Arts
Debbi Hoy, 6th-8th Grades, Grenada Elementary School, Siskiyou County

What's Growin' On? Lasting Connections
Can't get enough of the fifth edition of What's Growin' On? Lasting Connections? Want to check your answers to some of the activities? Visit the CFAITC Kids' Corner for interactive activities and answers, including the ATV Word Search, 14 Fun-nominal Fruit Facts, and "Catch Up" on Tomatoes.
Class sets (free to California educators) are still available. Request yours today!

2007 Teacher Resource Guide
Do you know of a resource that could help other educators bring agriculture into their classroom? Submit a recommendation form to have it considered for inclusion in the next edition of the Teacher Resource Guide.

California Country Magazine - 2007 Calendar Issue
The November/December 2006 issue of California Country Magazine, published by the California Farm Bureau Federation, is a special calendar issue featuring artwork that celebrates each month of 2007 with images of in-season crops and commodities. Request a free copy, while supplies last, by filling out the CFAITC Request Form and indicating "California Country Magazine" in the comments field.
Subscriptions to the magazine are available for $9 per year (6 issues) at

Project WET Educator Training
Deadline: Jan. 18, 2007
Jan. 23 and Jan. 30, 4-7pm, Stanislaus County
This seminar for fourth and fifth grade teachers is hands-on and correlated to the State Standards in Science, History-Social Science, and Language Arts. Participants in both sessions will receive a Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide as well as time and supplies to prepare lessons for immediate use in the classroom. The cost is $25 for one session, $35 for both. The goal of Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) is to promote the awareness, appreciation, and knowledge of California's water resources. For more information, download the flyer at

School Garden Bus Tour
January 24, 2007 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
The School Gardens tour will visit five thriving garden projects that teach Monterey Bay area preschool through middle school students cooking and nutrition, organic gardening, ornithology, science, and more! Life Lab Garden Classroom Program Director John Fisher, an active member in the newly formed California School Garden Network, will lead the tour. Curricular and funding resources will be shared throughout the day. The tour is an Eco-Farm Pre-Conference offering and is $50 with conference registration, or $70 without.
For more information, visit or contact John Fisher at 831/459-4035.

Go-for-the-Gold Art Contest
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2007
Current California residents in kindergarten through eighth grade in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Francisco and Fresno school districts are invited to enter this essay and art contest. Winning artwork designs will be converted into custom-designed skateboards. Winning entries will also earn the chance to meet Gold Medallist Snowboarder Shaun White and be part of a Radio Disney-produced assembly.
For more information, visit

River of Words
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2007
River of Words, in affiliation with The Library of Congress Center for the Book, conducts a free international poetry and art contest for youth on the theme of watersheds. The contest is designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of the place in which they live and to express, through poetry and art, what they discover. Open to ages 5-19. Students may enter on their own or as part of a group.
For more information, visit

Genomics: from Mendel to Microarrays
Deadline: April 6, 2007
July 8 - 13, 2007
Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the University of California Davis, participants in this workshop will tour the university and industry research facilities and receive genetics and genomics laboratory protocols and resource material for the classroom. Topics include biotechnology and genomics as they relate to agriculture, medicine, ecology and other areas. The course is open to secondary science teachers from across the country. Community college instructors are also welcome to apply. Three units of academic credit are available. Institute attendance, room, and board are free. Participants need to cover travel costs to UC Davis.
For more information, visit or contact Barbara Soots.

The "Nutrition Facts" food label found on the outside of packaged foods provides information about the nutrients that are found in that particular food. Use the WebQuest journey Labelable on the National Agriculture in the Classroom Web site to learn all about labels and how they relate to the MyPyramid food guide.