Cream of the Crop

January 2009

2008 Imagine this... State Winners
Congratulations to the six state winners and one honorable mention that have been chosen from more than 10,000 stories written by California students. These stories will be included in the second annual soft cover book illustrated by high school art students. The tales from these students' imaginations feature cows and cattle, olives, apples and pistachios. The stories demonstrate the connection that the students forged with agriculture and that, with publication, will engage and inspire others. The book will be released during National Ag Week, March 15-21, 2009, but you can read the stories today on the CFAITC Web site.

Who's More Important... Betsy or Todd?
by Dylan Adams
3rd Grade, Napa County
Northwood Elementary - Helen Reavis, Teacher
The Great Veggie Championship
by Audrey Poole
4th Grade, Marin County
Neil Cummins Elementary School - Linnea O'Brien, Teacher
Oliver's Family Tree
by Eric Harrelson
5th Grade, Sacramento County
Our Lady of the Assumption School - Mary Pat Jones, Teacher
Summer Range
by Braden Whitehouse
6th Grade, Siskiyou County
Grenada Elementary School - Debbi Hoy, Teacher
The Apple of My Eye
by Sonalei Amador
7th Grade, Riverside County
Grace Academy - Jonna Stiff, Teacher
Peter's Journey
by Brook Jensen
8th Grade, Stanislaus County
Gratton School - Rexann Jensen, Teacher
Honorable Mention
We Love Our Alfalfa Farmer!
by Brice Lore
3rd Grade, San Bernardino County
Home Choice - Pam Eshelman, Teacher

What's Growin' On? Your Link to California Agriculture
Pre-orders of the 7th edition of the 16-page newspaper are now being accepted. Aligned to content standards for grades 3-8, activities and information about asparagus, water, mycology, and turf, this student activity paper is fun for students and adults alike. Request your free class set today! Class sets of the 6th edition, Planting Healthy Lives, may also be requested and are available while supplies last.

Photo Contest - Budding Artists Winners
The new Budding Artists category of the CFBF Photo Contest, for ages 13 and younger, resulted in many views of fresh perspectives of agriculture settings. Lane Johnson, 11, of Yolo County received first place and Cassidy Campbell Mueller, 13, of Yolo County received second place. Mueller also received first place in the "From Farm to Fork" category.
Visit the CFAITC Web site to view the "Budding Artist" category winners. Visit the CFBF Web site to view all categories.

Read All About It - Recommended Books
The following books are new additions to the Teacher Resource Guide.

Wiggle and Waggle
By Caroline Arnold
Grades 4-6
ISBN 978-1-58089-306-0
Lettuce Introduce You: Poems About Food
By Laura Purdie Salas
Grades K-6
ISBN 978-1-4296-1703-1
California's New Green Revolution
By Desmond A. Jolly and Isabella Kenfield
Grades 9-adult
ISBN 978-0-9799956-0-6
Ice Cream: The Full Scoop
By Gail Gibbons
Grades K-6
ISBN 978-0-8234-2155-8
Ping Pong Pig
By Caroline Jayne Church
Grades K-3
ISBN 978-0-8234-2176-3

View more recommended books at and watch in the next few weeks for the 2009-2010 edition of the Teacher Resource Guide for even more resources that can be used in and out of the classroom.

CSGN Event Calendar and Employment Opportunities Database
The Event Calendar lists garden-based workshops, conferences, tours and more. Search by date, location or event type to get involved. The Employment Opportunities pages lists application dates for openings in the agriculture education field.
Add your event or job opportunity today!

Network for a Healthy California Conference
Mar. 4-5, 2009, Sacramento
Are you a champion for change? Interested in nutrition education? Attend this conference to network with other champions and build on existing programs. "Inspiring Healthy Change Together" is the theme for the 11th Network for a Healthy California Conference and will feature more than 35 sessions, workshops and speakers.
For more information, and to register, visit

Forestry Institute for Teachers
Application deadline: Mar. 13, 2009
$20 non-refundable application fee required.
In the midst of winter weather it's not too early to plan a mid-summer learning getaway. All meals and lodging are provided free at this seven-day residence workshop. Teachers receive extensive classroom and curriculum materials and a $200 stipend upon completion and implementation of a forest-related curriculum unit or project conducted in their classrooms.

  • June 14-20, 2009 - Plumas County, University of California Forestry Camp, Quincy
  • June 28 - July 3, 2009 - Tuolumne County, Camp Chinquapin, Pinecrest
  • July 5-11, 2009 - Shasta County, Camp McCumber, Shingletown
  • July 12-18, 2009 - Humboldt County, Humboldt State University, Arcata

For more information, and to register, visit

Intel Schools of Distinction Awards
Deadline: Feb. 17, 2009
The Intel Schools of Distinction Awards recognize U.S. schools that implement innovative, replicable programs that inspire their students and lead to positive educational outcomes in the areas of math and science. A garden is a great place to integrate math and science, from the way plants grow to math measurement for recipes. The awards program is open to K-12 public, private, charter, and parochial schools in the United States, Department of Defense Dependents Schools, and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools. Finalists receive cash grants of $2,500, winners receive $10,000 cash grants and more than $100,000 in products and services from sponsors. One of the winners is chosen to an additional $15,000 and additional products and services.
For more information, and to apply, visit

Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards
Deadline: Apr. 1, 2009
Would you like to make your neighborhood into a community oasis through landscaping? Non-profit organizations are invited to submit their planting plan. Winning projects will receive $1,000-$2,000 in plant materials to make their green dreams come true.
For more information, and to apply, visit