Cream of the Crop

September 2007

2007 AITC Symposium
Oct. 12-14, 2007
Asilomar Conference Grounds, Monterey County
Registration Deadline: Sept. 21, 2007
The registration deadline is only a couple of weeks away. If you are planning to attend the symposium, now is the time to register! Keynote speakers include Dr. Desiree Backman, Manager of the new Network for a Healthy California, Dr. Robert Flores, Professor and Department Head at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, George Gomes, Undersecretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Betty Wolanyk, Director of Education and Research for the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture.
Workshops will include periods for discussion and hands-on activities to provide in-depth coverage of six focus topics: biotechnology, energy, food safety, land use, nutrition, and water.
Register and submit your housing form today!

Call for Workshop Proposals--Deadline Extended
2008 National AITC Conference
June 25-28, 2008, Costa Mesa, CA
Extended Deadline: Sept. 12, 2007
The deadline for submitting Workshop Proposals for the 2008 National AITC Conference has been extended to Friday, September 7, 2007. Proposals are available for Workshops, Mini-Workshops and Make 'n' Takes. All Presenters will receive an honorarium. If you have an activity, lesson, or workshop topic that you would like to present, please submit your proposals by visiting the link below. Don't miss this opportunity to share your knowledge and skills with educators from across the nation!
Online Presentation Proposal Form

Cream of the Crop Fall 2007
The fall issue of Cream of the Crop includes a summary of the national conference that took place in New Orleans this year and a look forward to the upcoming symposium in October. Two profiles put the spotlight on 5th grade teacher Sherri Downer and CFAITC Conference Coordinator Megan Tipton. Resources and classroom activities are also featured. Multiple copies of the newsletter to share with colleagues were included in the recent back-to-school mailing.
This bi-annual newsletter can also be downloaded from the Web site, or free subscriptions are available by filling out a request form.

Imagine this... Story Writing Contest
Deadline: Nov. 1, 2007
Start the school year off right with this great writing contest. California students in grades 3-8 are invited to write an agriculturally-themed story in 750 words or less. State winners will receive a medal and savings bond and their story will be illustrated, published and distributed across the state in book form.
Visit the CFAITC Web site to download an entry form or read last year's winning stories.

California School Garden Network
Now it's even easier to access key gardening resources. The California School Garden Network (CSGN) Web site has been re-designed and re-organized. Visit to download or request a free copy of the Gardens for Learning comprehensive guidebook, reference garden-based curricula, learn about grants and fundraising opportunities, sign up for the monthly e-newsletter and more!

Health Games Competition
Deadline: Sept. 26, 2007
Changemakers, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is seeking creative solutions that merge computer and video games with health and health care. The competition is open to all business sectors, including for-profit companies. The open source venue allows review and commentary on current submissions. Submit your own idea, or browse other entries to be inspired by the possibilities and participate in a dialogue that may impact the industry. Three finalists will receive $5,000 and the opportunity to present at the Games for Health Conference in May 2008 in Baltimore.
For more information, visit

Creating and Sustaining School Gardens
Wednesdays, Sept. 26 through Oct. 17, 4-5:30pm, El Dorado County
Teams of El Dorado teachers, parents, community volunteers, school administrators and other garden-based learning supporters are invited to participate in these training opportunities (based on modules developed by the UC Davis Children's Garden). Each team must include 3 members and at least one teacher. The trainings will include lots of hands-on activities and teams will take home resources to assist in building and expanding garden-based learning programs.

To register, visit

Los Angeles County Farm Bureau Art-Writing Contest
Deadline: Oct. 7, 2007
2nd-8th grade Los Angeles County classes are invited to create artwork and an accompanying fictional story about agriculture. The winning class will receive an EarthBox and $100 for additional growing items and their artwork will be featured on the cover of a Los Angeles County Farm Bureau e-newsletter.
For more information, call 661/274-9709.

Kids Culinary Convention
Oct. 20, 2007, 8am-5pm, Sacramento
This event, presented by Jr. Chef Central, will offer workshops and presentations covering a variety of culinary topics for 500 young people, ages 10-15. Sessions are designed to emphasize smart food choices, self-sufficiency, safety, and learning. During the convention, five teams of Jr. Chefs will compete in an Iron Chef-style Culinary Kids Competition judged by celebrity guests. Registration is $45 and includes breakfast bar, lunch, end-of-day reception and special tote bag.
For more information, and to register, visit

National Fruits & Veggies - More Matters Month!
The Produce for Better Health Foundation encourages you to pledge to do something, maybe just one thing, in September: try a new fruit or vegetable, eat one more serving a day, experiment with a new recipe, educate yourself or your kids. The Fruits and Vegetables More Matters Web site includes information to help you "stay connected," "teach the kids" and "learn more," including recipes, activities, a fruit and veggie database with nutrition facts, and a supermarket scavenger hunt.
Visit to fulfill your pledge today.

September is California Wine Month
California is the fourth largest wine producer in the world, producing 90 percent of all American wine and two of every three bottles enjoyed here.
For a listing of events and celebrations, visit