Cream of the Crop

October 2010

In this issue:
Teacher Feature - Mary Pat Jones
1. Presidential Turkey Activity Guide
2. California AITC Conference
3. Imagine this... Story Writing Contest
4. Literacy for Life Teaching Awards
5. LearnAboutAg's YouTube Channel
6. Link Food, Science and Nutrition to CA Content Standards
7. San Diego Farm Tour Day
8. Reminder: Grand National School Tours (at the Cow Palace)
9. Dig In!
News - Cotton
County - Local Events

Teacher Feature
Mary Pat Jones
5th-8th grade teacher
Our Lady of the Assumption School
Sacramento County

Give an example of how you use agriculture to teach in your classroom or in your program.
There were a lot of opportunities to use agriculture; one in particular was in seventh grade life science. When studying genetics, one of the things I would have the students do in order to apply the genetic principles they were learning, was to design a new and/or better plant or domestic animal using those concepts. read more...

1. Presidential Turkey Activity Guide
The Presidential Turkey Activity Guide is now available for download. The four-page, full-color guide introduces students to the history of our nation's Presidential Turkey tradition and engages them with activities about the popular poultry. It is aligned to California state content standards for grades 4-6 in English-language arts, history-social science, math, science, and health education. Download from

Win a School-wide Assembly
The deadline to enter to win a school-wide assembly has been extended to Oct. 11. The assembly will feature the 2010 presidential turkey candidates, Ira Brister, presidential turkey grower, and Yubert Envia, chairman of the National Turkey Federation. Assembly participants will receive hard-copies of the activity guides. If your school can host an assembly on one of the tentative dates (Nov. 8, 10-17, 2010), complete the entry form at

Presidential Turkeys at Conference
Meet the Presidential Turkey candidates at the 2010 California AITC Conference in San Luis Obispo County, on Saturday, Nov. 6.

2. California AITC Conference

3. Imagine this... Story Writing Contest
Deadline: Nov. 1, 2010
The annual deadline for the story writing contest is coming up in less than a month! Submit the top five stories from your class to your regional coordinator for local judging. Regional winners will go on to state judging and could have their words illustrated and published in a book.
Read about last year's winners in California Country magazine at
Download the entry form (PDF, 542 KB).

4. Literacy for Life Teaching Awards
Deadline: Dec. 1, 2010
Nominations and applications are now being accepted for the 2011 teaching awards. Prizes include cash ($2,000 for overall and vocational agriculture categories; $1,000 for Emerging Seed category), an expense-paid trip to the 2011 National AITC Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL, an expense-paid trip to the 2011 CA Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting, and more. Apply online today at

5. LearnAboutAg's YouTube Channel
Have you seen our new channel on YouTube? We've been uploading demonstrations of quick and easy agriculture-related activities. The videos can also be seen embedded on the corresponding lesson page on our website.

6. Link Food, Science and Nutrition to CA Content Standards
Oct. 14, 2010, San Francisco
This multidisciplinary, hands-on, interactive workshop, for educators of grades K-5, will be presented by California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and a local farmer. It will demonstrate how to teach students about the science in food, the importance of eating healthy and safe food handling practices, through real-life scenarios and enjoyable activities.
For more information, download the registration form (PDF, 65 KB).

7. San Diego Farm Tour Day
Oct. 16, 2010, San Diego
Get a close-up look at what San Diego County agriculture is all about from the people who know it best: San Diego farmers! On Saturday Oct. 16, eight local growers will open their farms to the public for guided walking tours coordinated by the San Diego County Farm Bureau. Tours will be conducted at each farming operation every half hour between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. so that visitors can chart their own course and choose which farms, and in which order, they would like to visit.
For more information, and to sign up online, visit

8. Reminder: Grand National School Tours (at the Cow Palace)
Oct. 21, 2010, Bay Area
Bay Area teachers, bring your class to the Cow Palace for a milking demonstration, a trick riding demonstration, a tour of the livestock barns, and an interactive and educational presentation by Barn Tours. Complete the registration form to select your preferred tour time.

9. Dig In!
The "Dig in!" resource pack contains 48 lesson plans about farming, cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, fruits and vegetables, cereals and grasses, and healthy eating. Modules are targeted for four different age groups, 4-7, 7-9, 9-11 and 12-17.
Download from

Cotton crop success depends on fall weather
Story by Christine Souza

Having gotten off to a late start due to the cool, wet spring, growers say they must ride out the next six weeks of the season, hoping that Mother Nature will cooperate by keeping temperatures warm and dry. read more...

Lesson Plan: Seed Match
Students learn that the fruits and vegetables we eat and many materials we use come from flowering plants, and that all flowering plants begin as seeds. This lesson meets California science and English-language arts standards for grades 1-3. Download (PDF, 212 KB)

Book: The Life and Adventures of Jack Sprout
This paperback book includes three short stories describing the adventures of Jack Sprout, the sunflower seed that grew up to be a farmer.

Resource: The Popcorn Program
This education teaching guide acquaints students with popcorn, its role in history, its many uses, and its nutritional value through facts and recipes. Interdisciplinary lesson plans for grades K-12 and photos of popcorn in various stages of development are also featured on the website,

Website: El Dorado County Agriculture in the Classroom
El Dorado County AITC has a new website that includes descriptions of their resources and education opportunities.

Local Events