Cream of the Crop

April 2009

1. Imagine this... Story Writing Contest
Six state winners, one honorable mention, five classes of art students, nine members of the California state legislature, and dozens more teachers, family and friends gathered together on March 19, 2009 for the Imagine this... Awards Ceremony held at CDFA in Sacramento. Dylan Adams, Audrey Poole, Eric Harrelson, Braden Whitehouse, Sonalei Amador, and Brook Jensen each received their medal, and read their story to the eager crowd. Honorable mention Brice Lore was also recognized. Visit the CFAITC Web site to view photos from the day or order your copy of the book ($10).

2. What's Growin' On? Teacher's Supplement
The Teacher's Supplement for the 7th edition of the student activity newspaper What's Growin' On? is now available to download. The new supplement includes inquiry-based labs, related readings, methods for incorporating technology into each learning experience and GATE and ELL adaptations for tailoring each topic to your students. One printed copy is included with a free class set of the newspaper.

3. Teacher Resource Guide 2009-2010
Have you received your free copy? Remember to fill out the evaluation and recommendation forms (pages 209-212) to help improve the next edition of the guide. Each section of the book is now available for interactive online browsing and searching:

Or, the entire guide can be downloaded as a PDF.

4. Ag-Discovery Program
Application deadline: April 17, 2009
The Ag-Discovery Program through USDA is an outreach program to help students learn about careers in animal science, veterinary medicine, agribusiness and plant pathology. The two-week program allows participants, ages 12-17, to live on a college campus and learn about agricultural science from university professors, practicing veterinarians and professionals working for the U.S. government. Students pay for transportation to and from the college campus. The cost of tuition, room and board, and lab supplies for the program will be covered by various offices within APHIS.
For more information, and to apply, visit

April 22-23, 2009, Los Angeles County
Classes of Los Angeles third and fourth grade students are invited to attend the 8th Annual AG DAY LA celebration to learn how agriculture (water, plants, bees, fiber, food, and dairy) makes up the many pieces that form the puzzle of our everyday lives.
For more information, visit

6. GreenWorks! Grants
Deadline: April 30, 2009
GreenWorks! grants engage educators and their students with their local community in environmental projects. Student leadership, service-learning and community participation are the cornerstones of GreenWorks! projects. Award Amount: $250-$5,000.
For more information, visit
For more grant ideas, visit the CFAITC Web site.

7. Life Lab School Garden Video Contest
Deadline: May 5, 2009
How does the garden help you grow? Life Lab wants to know! Create a short video (30 seconds to 2 minutes) incorporating photos, clips, words, songs and more to show the world what your garden program means to you and your school. One winner will receive $300 in garden supplies and $100 cash for the creator of the video, the runner up will receive $100 in gardening supplies and $50 cash for the video creator.
For more information, visit
To view current submissions, visit

8. Ag Science Center
June 15-18, 2009
The Teacher Agricultural Science Technology Education Seminar (TASTES) in Modesto is presented in four one-day hands-on workshops. Day one is "Genes... What do cells have to do with it," day two is "Fingerprints... Everything has one," day three is "From cow chips to kilowatts," and day four is "Seeds, soil & stomach." The cost is $15 per educator per day, $25 for both DNA days, or $50 for all four days. Three higher-education units may also be available for attending all four days.
For more information, contact Courtney Borrelli at 209/521-2902.

9. National AITC Conference
June 24-27, 2009, St. Louis, MO
Travel to "The Gateway City" for a unique view of agriculture and agriculture literacy, from production and processing to transportation and agri-tourism. Co-hosted by Illinois and Missouri Agriculture in the Classroom, the 2009 National Conference is full of inspiring connections including workshops, tours, and networking opportunities. Learn about ag in a whole new way!
For more information, and to register, visit

10. Field Trip Idea - Village Nurseries
Several Village Nurseries wholesale and retail locations are available for school tours. Brentwood (Contra Costa), Sacramento, Orange, Huntington Beach and Del Mar are available, and Riverside and Pauma Valley are also possibilities with enough notice. Set up a field trip to learn about the landscape side of agriculture and get some hands-in-the-dirt experiences.
For more information, contact Terri Cook at 714/279-3107.
For more field trip ideas, visit the CFAITC Web site.

11. Health Education Content Standards
The new Health Education Content Standards for California Public Schools provide standards for kindergarten through grade twelve. They help teach students how to maintain and improve their health; prevent disease; reduce health risks; and develop health knowledge, attitudes, and skills that foster academic achievement, increase attendance rates, and improve behavior at school. Available from CDE Press for $15.95.
For an order form, visit (PDF).