Cream of the Crop

April 2010

In this issue:
Teacher Feature - Cindy Moreno
1. Imagine this... Story Writing Contest - Awards Ceremony
2. 2010 California AITC Conference
3. Grants to Fund Dairy Related Field Trips
4. Teacher Agricultural Science Technology Education Seminar (TASTES)
5. Forest Center Spring Tours
6. "Yes to Carrots" Seed Fund Grant
7. EAT Foundation 2010 Ag Tour and Seminars
News - Eggs
County - Local Events

Teacher Feature
Cindy Moreno
2nd grade teacher
Collegeville School, Escalon Unified School District
San Joaquin County

How do you integrate agriculture into the curriculum or activities you teach?
Agriculture is integrated through other subjects such as science, social studies, nutrition, and literature. We also take ag-based field trips to dairies, cheese factories and pumpkin patches. In addition, I am constantly bringing in leaves, fruits, nuts, grains, etc. from local farms and orchards.... read more...

1. Imagine this... Story Writing Contest - Awards Ceremony
Third-eighth grade award-winning student authors started their day Wednesday, March 24, 2010 by gathering at the California Farm Bureau building in Sacramento. They autographed 100 copies of the new "Imagine this... Stories Inspired by Agriculture" (where their stories are published) and were then interviewed with their teachers. After a lunch break they made their way to the Governor's Council Room at the State Capitol where they were introduced to the high school art students that illustrated their stories. They were recognized by their state legislature representatives, read their stories at the podium and received their awards (medal, savings bond, copy of the book and a illustration print ready for framing). The day ended with slices of cake and socializing by the students and their families.

The awards ceremony was streamed online. Watch a recording on
See snapshots from the ceremony in the photo gallery.
Order a copy of the book for your classroom or school library ($10).

2. 2010 California AITC Conference
Nov. 5-6, 2010 in Shell Beach, CA
We're busy planning the conference this fall, coming up with great topics and speaker ideas for our seaside, San Luis Obispo County venue. But, we'd like to know: what do you want to see at conference this year? What keynote speaker would inspire and energize you? What workshop topic would provide all the information you need to make it happen in the classroom? Which location would you love to visit on a field trip?
Let us know! Reply to this e-mail, fill out the online form, give us a call at 800-700-2482, leave a comment on our Facebook page, or send us a tweet.

3. Grants to Fund Dairy Related Field Trips
The Agricultural Awareness and Literacy Foundation, through funding provided by the California Milk Advisory Board, is offering $4 per student towards the cost of transportation and the entrance fee for a field trip where students will learn about dairy farms or dairy product processing. Public or private schools with non-profit tax ID numbers are eligible. Complete the Milk Matters! Discovering Dairy unit (or other dairy-related nutrition curriculum) and include 2-3 pictures of completed assignments or students and their work with your application.
For more information, list of eligible curriculum, and to apply, visit

4. Teacher Agricultural Science Technology Education Seminar (TASTES)
June 7-9, 2010, Stanislaus County
This three-day seminar from National Ag Science Center is at Enochs High School in Modesto. TASTES will provide hands-on, standards-based resources and materials to use in your classroom, and introduce new ideas for future field trips and speakers. The cost is $55. For more information, visit

5. Forest Center Spring Tours
Available Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 8-May 11, 2010
California Exposition & State Fair, Sacramento, CA
For this two-hour tour students will step into the forest and learn a wealth of information that covers all aspects of a forest, from its primitive beginning as a seed bed to a thriving ecosystem and the organisms that live in them.
Download reservation form: Forest Tours (PDF).

6. "Yes to Carrots" Seed Fund Grant
Deadline: May 20, 2010
Public schools for grades K-8 (or any subset of these) are invited to create a video or write an essay describing why your school would love to build a new garden or give your existing school garden some TLC. Recipients will receive $5,000, a one-year gift of gardening supplies from the Kellogg Foundation, and a dedicated message and gift from personalized 'Garden Ambassador' Emmanuelle Chriqui.
To apply, visit

7. EAT Foundation 2010 Ag Tour and Seminars
Kings County
The Ag Tour and Seminar is a 3-day, 2 CE units workshop where agriculture and the classroom collide. The workshops include tours of local farms, dairies, and packing houses, as well as active participation in local farming and gardening techniques. Local and statewide guest speakers attend to discuss the importance of education, nutrition, and agriculture. Three sessions are available: June 22-24, July 13-15 and July 27-29.
Download flyer (PDF, 282 KB)
For more information, and to register, visit


Egg farms' dilemma: To comply, close or move?
By Steve Adler

When California voters passed Proposition 2 affecting animal agriculture operations in November 2008, egg producers were faced with three choices—comply, close up shop or move out of state.

In fact, recruiters from other states began encouraging California egg farms to move almost as soon as the Proposition 2 results were announced, a recruitment process that continues.... read more...

Egg Farming: It's a Tough Job!
Video by Mike Rowe


Lesson plan: Frozen, Canned or Fresh?
In this lesson, students will design an experiment that will examine the visual appearance, taste, texture and smell of frozen, canned and fresh spinach. At the conclusion of the experiment, students will represent their data with graphs and charts and decide which type of spinach they prefer. This lesson meets California science, math and health education standards for grades 4-6. Download (PDF, 149 KB)

Book: Sugar Lump, the Orphan Calf by Lynn Sheffield Simmons
This story features a newborn calf found lying alone in the pasture by a twelve-year-old girl, Marcy. Without any hesitation she takes on the responsibility of raising the calf she names Sugar Lump. As the calf grows, Sugar Lump and Marcy experience many adventures and form a unique bond. This book is appropriate for grades 3-6. ISBN 978-1589802162

Resource: Our Rangelands: Exploring the Rangelands of Sonoma County and Beyond
This fourth through sixth grade curriculum introduces rangelands, their functions, why they are important and how to protect them. Each of the five thematic units feature multiple lesson plans for classroom use. Lessons include What Comes from the Range?, We Are All Water Stewards, Let's Make Mudshakes and many more! Available as a free download from UC Cooperative Extension of Sonoma County,

Web site: Successful Container Gardens
In a world of limited time and space, container gardens are increasingly popular among educators and students. This thorough Web site explains how to select the plants and container, and provides tips for maintenance year-round. Blueprints to build your own container and how-to videos are also available. Visit

County - Local Events