Cream of the Crop

November 2007

What's Growin' On? Planting Healthy Lives
The sixth edition of the What's Growin' On? newspaper has arrived! This issue focuses on the nutrients needed to grow healthy plants. Activities throughout the publication meet third through eighth grade California Public School Content Standards. California educators are invited to request a free class set of these 16-page newspaper supplements.

2008 CFAITC Desk Calendar
Deadline: Friday, Nov. 9, 2007
This year's theme for the desk calendar is California School Gardens. Do you have a photo of your school garden that illustrates the opportunity for learning in these unique spaces, that inspires the viewer to get their hands dirty, or that simply captures the beauty of nature? Large or small, new or old, simple or jaw-dropping, submit your photo for consideration for inclusion in the 2008 edition and receive a free copy of the calendar when it is published in December. Use the online form to submit your high-res digital photo and contact information. All submissions become the property of the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.

2007 AITC Symposium - Success by the Sea!
Thinking caps weren't the only required attire at the Symposium. Many participants also chose to don their dancing shoes. Attendees spent two days discovering and debating impacts in California agriculture. More than 200 images in the online photo gallery document general sessions, keynote speakers, workshops, make 'n' takes, the farmer panel, and more. Handouts from Make 'n' Takes are also available for download.
More fun is just around the corner! Registration for the National AITC Conference (June 25-28, 2008 in Costa Mesa) will open in January.

Outstanding Teacher of the Year
Application Deadline: Nov. 26, 2007
There's still time to fill out an application to apply for one of several honors. Awards include expense paid trip to the National AITC Conference and more. Contact CFAITC at 800/700-AITC with any questions.
Download application (PDF, 390 KB)

Resource Recommendations
Have you seen or created a resource about California agriculture lately? Fill out the Resource Recommendation Form. Recommended resources will be reviewed by a panel of educators and industry specialists for inclusion in the 2008 Teacher Resource Guide.

CFAITC Postcards
Each set includes six postcards featuring an illustration and fun fact about a California commodity. Get the entire collection, three sets (eighteen cards total!), when you fill out an evaluation of the 2007 Teacher Resource Guide book or CD. Your feedback will help make this resource even better!
CD Evaluation
Book Evaluation

Network for a Healthy California Conference
Jan. 23-24, 2008 Sacramento
The 11th Network for a Healthy California conference, "Champions for Change: Taking Action for Healthy Eating and Active Living," will be held in January at the Sacramento Convention Center. Presentations, workshops, and exhibits will focus on inspiring participants to be agents of change and build a foundation for the new movement.
For more information, and to register, visit

2008 Arbor Day National Poster Contest
Deadline: Mar. 1, 2008
The poster contest is open to all California fifth graders. The theme for 2008 is "Trees are Terrific ... Inside and Out!" National prizes include savings bonds, framed artwork, trees planted in the artist's honor, and more.
For more information, and to request a free activity guide, contact Kay Antunez at 916/653-7958 or visit

Wireless Watering
In the small farming town of Sidney, Montana, Robert Evans adjusts his Bluetooth. He's not chatting with colleagues or closing a business deal. He's watering his fields. Thanks to Bluetooth and a wireless network of small soil-moisture and temperature sensors, the field in front of him is able to continuously dictate its exact water needs.
Learn more about this technology: (PDF)
Source: AgroWorld Newsletter

Autumn Agritourism
Pumpkin patches, apple ranches, Christmas tree farms--just to name a few. There are opportunities waiting for you and your family in your county. Continue a tradition, or start a new one, by spending a day on the farm. Picnics, hay rides, corn mazes, and pick-your-own are just a few of the on-site activities available. Return with your bounty for baking or as seasonal decoration for the home. A pie might not have any leftovers, but the memories will last.
For ideas, search the California Agricultural-Tourism Database, browse CFAITC's Teacher Resource Guide, or read the article in the November/December 2007 issue of California Country.