Cream of the Crop

November 2010

In this issue:
Teacher Feature - Jenna Swenson
1. Name the 2010 Official Presidential Turkey
2. Literacy for Life Teaching Awards
3. California AITC Conference
News - VIP (Very Important Poultry)
County - Local Events

Teacher Feature
Jenna Swenson
Curriculum Coordinator
California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom

How are you involved with Agriculture in the Classroom?
Actually, I just recently started working for Ag in the Classroom as Curriculum Coordinator. Prior to working here, I would use the Teacher Resource Guide to help with ideas or sources to prepare for lessons. I also loved to use the website to find lesson plans or activities that I could use for my classes. read more...

1. Name the 2010 Official Presidential Turkey
Deadline: Nov. 8, 2010
California students have an opportunity to name the 2010 Presidential Turkey and his alternate. Names will be submitted to the White House for final selection. Previous names include Courage and Carolina, Pumpkin and Pecan, Flyer and Fryer, and Marshmallow and Yam.
Visit to submit your name suggestions.

2. Literacy for Life Teaching Awards
Deadline: Dec. 1, 2010
Applications for the 2011 Literacy for Life Teaching Awards are now being accepted online. When you bring agriculture into your classroom, you are making a difference. Be recognized for your good work and inspire other educators with your ideas. Award recipients receive a cash prize ($1,000-$2,000) and participate in several opportunities during the year. The overall award recipient will go on to compete for the national award. If you've applied in the past, this could be your year! Submit an application for 2011.
For more information, and to apply, visit

3. California AITC Conference
It's just a few short days until the conference! We can't wait to share all of the great resources and sessions with you! Will we see you there? Before, during, and after—or if you're following along from home—all of the details will be available online:

VIP (Very Important Poultry)
Story by Barbara Arciero, Photos by Matt Salvo

There's a cacophony of sound coming from the tidy white house in Modesto where Ira Brister is raising 25 tom turkeys, and the noise is more than just a gobble gobble here and a gobble gobble there. There's also music—everything from Mozart to Metallica. read more...

Lesson Plan: Read the Roots
Students will experiment with watering schedules to observe how frequency affects plant development. This lesson meets California science standards for grades 4-6. Download (PDF, 176 KB)

Book: How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers
Using a practical and hands-on approach, this book provides everything parents and teachers need to plan, build, use and maintain a school garden. Includes lesson plans, design ideas and recipes. ISBN 978-1-60469-000-2

Resource: Bearing Fruit: Farm to School Program Evaluation Resources and Recommendations
This comprehensive evaluation of the Farm to School program highlights the overall impacts of farm to school for stakeholders—teachers, food service, farmers, parents, policy makers and community—providing resources and tools to incorporate when assessing a program. Available for free plus shipping, or download online:

Website: Sierra to Sea
This website about California's water includes video presentations and maps about the California State Water Project, the Central Valley project, local water providers, water quality, dams, reservoirs, ground water, and more.

Local Events

  • Nov. 5, 2010 Riverside County Farm Bureau - 93rd Annual Meeting
  • Nov. 5, 2010 Nevada County Farm Bureau - Annual Dinner
  • Dec. 4-8, 2010 CFBF Annual Meeting in Monterey