Cream of the Crop

January 2008

Imagine this... Story Writing Contest - State Winners!
Six state winners and two honorable mentions have been chosen from thousands of stories written by students from across California. These creative tales describe how agriculture is an integral part of the state and demonstrate the quality of appreciation for farming and ranching that the authors have achieved. Each story will be published in a soft cover book. The state winning stories will be fully illustrated by high school art students. The book will be released during National Ag Week, March 16-22, 2008, and stories will be available online after January 11. Congratulations!

State Winners
The Best Orange Tree Ever
by Hanna Bopp
3rd Grade, Fresno County
Kerman-Floyd Elementary - Marie Motta, Teacher
Farmer's Pride in Feeding America
by McKenzie Carvalho
4th Grade, Colusa County
Maxwell Elementary - Dianna Detlefsen, Teacher
The Swap
by Chance Holley
5th Grade, Stanislaus County
Chatom Elementary - Nancy Harris, Teacher
It's Not Easy Being a Green Teen Drama Queen
by Mackenzie Morton
6th Grade, Stanislaus County
Yolo Middle School - Shelia Kendall, Teacher
Marvelous Missy
by Preston Munson
7th Grade, Siskiyou County
Scott Valley Jr. High - Tracy Dickinson, Teacher
Water Flowing Keeps Crops Growing
by Russell Sweet
8th Grade, Siskiyou County
Grenada Elementary - Debbi Hoy, Teacher
Honorable Mentions
Ag Riculture Reporting
by Mary McCallister
5th Grade, Lake County
Kelseyville Elementary - Rochelle Bell, Teacher
The Future of the Family Farm
by Jack Sweet
6th Grade, Siskiyou County
Grenada Elementary - Debbi Hoy, Teacher

What's Growin' On? Teacher's Supplement
The Teacher's Supplement to the sixth edition of What's Growin' On?, Planting Healthy Lives, is now available! Use this teaching guide, aligned to state standards, to extend the topics and classroom activities presented in the student newspaper. Includes word search, crossword, bee math, critical thinking and creative writing prompts, and more.
Download from the CFAITC Web site or receive a hard copy when you request a class set of the newspapers.

Garden Workshops
Try these workshops, and more from the CSGN and CFAITC Event Calendar, for inspiration when bringing gardens to your students.

School Garden Bus Tour (Life Lab Science Program)
Jan. 23, 2008, Monterey County
This year's School Garden Tour will focus on Farm to School Programs.
Saturday in the Nutrition Garden (Network for a Healthy California - LAUSD)
Jan. 26, 2008, Los Angeles County
First in a series of three, this workshop is about creating and sustaining your school garden with a nutrition focus.
Planning Your School Garden Program (School Garden Network of El Dorado County)
Jan. 30, 2008, El Dorado County
Topics will include curricular resources, building a support network and organizational structure for your program, year-round school garden guidelines and tasks and setting your garden goals and breaking down the steps.

How many types of honeydew melons are there? How many calories are there in a carrot? How many ways can a chestnut be eaten? Visit Producepedia, a new site from Western Growers, to learn about California's and Arizona's commodities and the farmers that produce them. Includes history, nutrition, fun facts, seasonality, and "Face of a Farmer" profiles.
Visit to learn more about your favorite fruit, vegetable, or nut.

Journey North: A Global Study of Wildlife Migration
Spring Projects begin Feb. 1, 2008
Journey North engages students in a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. K-12 students share their own field observations with classmates across North America. They track the coming of spring through the migration patterns of monarch butterflies, birds, and other mammals, plus the budding of plants, changing sunlight and other natural events. This free program includes online database to track findings with mapped reports, standards-based lesson plans, and teacher resources. How do wildlife and the environment affect agriculture?
Visit to register and learn about this season's projects.

Free Rice
Improve your vocabulary and help provide a staple to hundreds of thousands across the world. For each correct answer to the multiple choice definition quiz, 20 grains of rice are donated through the World Food Programme (United Nations) to populations in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and more. The very real results of this virtual game are funded by a banner ad displayed on each page.
To participate, visit, to learn more about fighting hunger, visit