Cream of the Crop

January 2011

In this issue:
Teacher Feature - Silvia K. Bishop
1. CFAITC's 25th Anniversary
2. Imagine this... Story Writing Contest - State Winners
3. CFAITC Annual Survey: How Can We Better Support You?
4. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Workshops
5. Art and Poetry Contests
6. Katie's Krops Grant
7. California School Garden Survey
8. Realize Science Technology Grant
9. Colusa Summer Seminar
10. Teacher's Ag Summer Institute (TASI)
News - Making the grade
County - Local Events

Teacher Feature - Silvia K. Bishop
Chief Executive Officer
48th District Agricultural Association
Schools' Agriculture and Nutrition Program/Fair
Los Angeles County

Tell us about a golden teaching moment.
I think that a golden "learning" moment for me was understanding that farmers and others involved in agriculture are true keepers of the earth. I was here on campus at Mt. San Antonio College during a heavy rain fall and there was work to be done at the campus farm that still had to be done in the pouring rain! I realized then agriculture is a 24/7 job! read more...

1. CFAITC's 25th Anniversary
The California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom became official in 1986 and we're celebrating in a big way this year! We hope you'll join us in attending and participating in several events.

Learn more at

2. Imagine this... Story Writing Contest - State Winners
Congratulations to the state winners of the Imagine this... Story Writing Contest! The stories will be posted to the CFAITC website later this month. High school students are bringing the words to life with their artwork. Authors and illustrators will meet in March at the awards ceremony and book launch.

Once Upon a Delicious Dream
by Guadalupe Landeros
3rd Grade, Colusa County
Williams Elementary School - Sherrie Taylor Vann, Teacher

The Journey of Robby the Raindrop
by Morgan Overholtzer
4th Grade, Stanislaus County
Gratton Elementary School - Pennie Segna, Teacher

The Coyote, the Avocado and Sam
by Zeb Soyffer
5th Grade, Los Angeles County
Ekstrand Elementary School - Catherine Rojas, Teacher

Just Peachy
by Nick O'Brien
6th Grade, Stanislaus County
St. Stanislaus Elementary School - Judee Sani, Teacher

From Dirt to Pie Crusts
by Delaney Black
7th Grade, Siskiyou County
Scott Valley Junior High School - Tracy Dickinson, Teacher

The Guard Llama: To Protect and Serve
by Matt Wright
8th Grade, Stanislaus County
Sacred Heart Catholic School - Cathy Shive, Teacher

It's not too soon to be thinking about the next contest! The annual deadline is November 1. Stories can be written about any topic that relates to California agriculture.

3. CFAITC Annual Survey: How Can We Better Support You?
Without your support and dedication our resources would go unused and our message would not be heard. Please let us know how we can help you by improving the materials you use to spread agricultural literacy. Each participant will receive a Basil Grow Kit as a gesture of thanks for completing the survey.
To fill out the survey, visit

4. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Workshops
This free two-day training is designed for teachers, school personnel and community partners. It provides tools to support an increase of fresh fruits and vegetables on school campuses through fun, interactive, and skill-building activities.

For more information, and to register, visit

5. Art and Poetry Contests

Tulare County Farm Bureau Calendar Art Contest
Deadline: Feb. 11, 2011
Santa Cruz National Ag Day Poster Contest
Deadline Feb. 24, 2011
Santa Cruz National Ag Day Poetry Contest
Deadline: Feb. 24, 2011

6. Katie's Krops Grant
Deadline: Feb. 11, 2011
Students aged 9 to 16 are invited to apply for this grant to receive up to $400 in materials to start a vegetable garden to feed people in need.
For more information, and to apply, visit

7. California School Garden Survey
Deadline: Feb. 18, 2011
Life Lab, in collaboration with the California School Garden Network, is conducting a survey of California School Gardens. The information gathered from this survey will help those that are creating and supporting school garden projects across the state and nation.
To fill out the survey, visit

8. Realize Science Technology Grant
Deadline: Mar. 31, 2011
U.S. teachers using agriculture in their classroom are invited to apply for this grant to receive a Dlite Education Kit, including video microscope and software to take still pictures, video, and time lapse movies. Fourteen video microscope kits will be awarded in all, to ten grant winners. The top two winners will each get three microscope kits.

9. Colusa Summer Seminar
The bi-annual Colusa County Ag in the Classroom Summer Seminar will be held Thursday and Friday, June 23-24, 2011. This year's focus will be on seeds: vegetable, rice, walnut, etc. One unit credit can be earned from CSU, Chico. This seminar is jointly sponsored by Colusa County Farm Bureau and University of California Cooperative Extension Colusa County.
For more information, contact Liz Dawley at

10. Teacher's Ag Summer Institute (TASI)
Application deadline extended: Feb. 15, 2011
June 20, 2011-June 23, 2011
K-12 teachers in El Dorado, Placer and Amador counties are invited to attend this three-day ag institute which will combine classroom-style instruction, learning stations, hands-on, in the field experiences and sample classroom activities to immerse participants in the vital world of agriculture. Break out sessions for primary, secondary and high school educators will connect the topic of the day with resources and hands-on activities to take back to the classroom setting. All meals (Monday dinner through Thursday lunch), three nights lodging, transportation to the field sites and resource materials are included. The cost is $25.
For more information, visit

Making the grade: Farm Bureau programs teach kids about farms, food and fiber.
By Christine Souza

Standing in a small broadcast studio in Hanford, Diana Peck captures the attention of students in a Los Angeles-area classroom with her bubbly personality and with projected images of a massive harvester removing puffy white bolls of cotton from a field. read more...

Lesson Plan: The Ultimate Efficient Recycler from the Milk Matters Discovering Dairy Unit.
In this lesson, students will learn how cows help conserve natural resources by identifying the important role dairy cattle have in reducing, reusing and recycling food processing by-products. Students will identify each of the stages in the ecological cycle and the important role of decomposers. This lesson meets California content standards for students in grades 4-6, and can be easily adapted for multiple grade levels. Download (PDF, 12.5 MB)

Book: Seed Soil Sun: Earth's Recipe for Food by Chris Peterson.
This book won the American Farm Bureau's "2011 Book of the Year" award. It takes you through the three main ingredients for growing food. ISBN 978-1-59078-713-7.

Resource: Seed Sun Soil Educator's Guide
American Farm Bureau Foundation developed this educator's guide of lessons and activities to use with the book, "Seed Soil Sun" to teach reading, math, science, social science, health and nutrition to the 1st-3rd grade classroom.

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