Cream of the Crop

March 2008

2008 Teacher Resource Guide
The 2008 edition of the Teacher Resource Guide is on the press! Available in book format, it lists nearly 600 free or low-cost resources, nearly 650 books and more than 550 Web sites that can help bring agriculture to life for students, teachers and parents. CD versions of the guide will be available in early summer.
Pre-order your free copy by filling out the online form.

Growing Healthy Children
Mar. 13, 2008, Claremont, CA
Presented by the Center for Collaborative Solutions, and co-sponsored by Afterschool Regions 10 & 11 and the Network for a Healthy California--Los Angeles Region and the California After School Network, these free sessions focus on practical guidance and resources to strengthen afterschool programs for students to develop healthy habits and make smart choices. Topics include strengthening food security, funding, partnerships and integrating nutrition and physical activity into learning experiences. Oroville video conference also available on May 14, 2008.
For more information, visit

California Agriculture Day at the Capitol
Mar. 25, 2008, Noon, Sacramento
Organized by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and California Women for Agriculture, this year's theme is "Decisions Today, Impacting Tomorrow." On the west steps of the Capitol in Sacramento, presentations will include Food Network's celebrity chef Guy Fieri who will speak about "Cooking with your Kids." Sample California products and visit with livestock. Ag Day Program starts at 12 pm.
State winning students and high school artists will be recognized for their achievements at a special Imagine this... awards ceremony at 2 pm.

Teach Beef: California Beef Council Educator Newsletter
Volume 2, issue 1 of the California Beef Council's biannual newsletter is now available. Produced for California's educators, this issue highlights the Choose Well resource, aligned to the California Content Standards, which stresses choosing appropriate portion size, nutrient-rich foods as well as physical activity.
Download the Spring 2008 issue (PDF, 226 KB)

To subscribe, send an e-mail with your name and e-mail address to or call 916/925-2333. For more free resources, visit

9th Annual Water Awareness Poster Contest
Deadline: Apr. 11, 2008
In celebration of Water Awareness Month in May, fourth grade students are invited by the California Farm Water Coalition to create an 8 1/2" x 11" poster that expresses their appreciation of irrigated agriculture in California. First, second and third place winners will receive savings bonds and have their artwork featured on the CFWC Web site, teachers will receive credit towards classroom supplies.
For more information and entry instructions, visit

Nutrients for Life Distinguished Educator Award
Deadline: Apr. 15, 2008
Certified science teachers for grades 6-12 are invited to apply for this distinguished educator award. Four national winners (two high school and two middle school), who are committed to discovering innovative ways to teach their students about real world issues surrounding plant and soil health, food production or population growth, will be awarded $2,500: $1,500 for personal use and a $1,000 grant for use in their science classroom, school or community.
For more information, and to apply, visit

Farms, Friends & Fairytales
April 20, 2008, 11am-3pm, Fairytale Town, Sacramento
Located in William Land Park in Sacramento, this event at Fairytale Town brings fun, agriculture and education together to celebrate California's rich agricultural heritage. Guests can participate in a variety of garden and animal activities to learn how farmers in the Golden State bring delicious foods to your table and products to your home. Children will make ice cream and plant seeds, and will follow the process from the farm all the way to their family. Regular admission is $4.50.
For more information, visit

Connections in the Garden
Take these opportunities to learn how to utilize your school garden to teach specific subject matter.

Garden Math April 25, 2008
Designed for upper elementary educators interested in reinforcing their math lessons with hands-on gardening activities.
Life Lab Science Program
Inquiry in the Garden May 2, 2008
For middle school teachers who want their students to take an active role in their science education, using the school garden as a living laboratory.
Life Lab Science Program
Grounding in Botany July 15, 2008-August 8, 2008
For high school biology/life science teachers, this course will use the stages of the life cycle as a foundation for exploring plant reproduction, the cell, genetics, respiration, and photosynthesis.
Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Fruit & Veggie Color Champions
Part of the new Fruits & Veggies--More Matters health initiative, this Web site for grades K-6 includes games, color pages, recipes and activities about fruit and vegetables. Match photos to their group in the food pyramid, draw your favorite vegetable and then post it to the gallery, learn how to make a banana in a blanket, or go on a supermarket scavenger hunt. Choose a color champion and start an adventure!

California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers
Nursery Industry Fund for Innovation and Excellence
Proposal Deadline: June 1, 2008
Funding requests of any amount will be considered, though available funds will generally limit individual grants to a range of $5,000-$15,000. Topics that will be considered for funding include classroom materials to integrate horticulture, professional development programs for teachers or nursery industry employees, recruitment materials for students to study horticulture at the high school or college level, outreach materials to education consumers about horticultural services and products, and materials or programs that inform about the economic, social, and environmental benefits of the green industry trend.
For more information, contact Dr. Mark Shelton at