Cream of the Crop

March 2011

In this issue:
Teacher Feature - Lindsey Kovach
1. Imagine this... Awards Ceremony and Book
2. Victory Gardening Workshops
3. Colusa County AITC Summer Seminar
4. Teacher Agricultural Science Technology Education Seminars (TASTES)
5. Gardens for Learning Available for Purchase in Hardcopy
6. Coming Soon from CFAITC
News - On guard! Dogs, donkeys and llamas protect livestock
County - Local Events

Teacher Feature - Lindsey Kovach
High School Agriculture Teacher
Ponderosa High School, Shingle Springs
El Dorado County

What is your favorite AITC program/resource/event and why?
My students and I love the El Dorado County AITC farm day event held annually. At Farm Day, my students teach more than 800 third-graders about agriculture topics to help them have a better understanding of food, fiber, and forestry. It is heartwarming for me to see my students serve as the authority on these topics and to see what excellent leaders they have become. read more...

1. Imagine this... Awards Ceremony and Book
Mar. 24, 2011, 2:30 p.m., Sacramento
The Imagine this... Award Ceremony will honor the state-winning authors and high school art students that illustrated the stories. Tune in on uStream on Thursday afternoon to see the authors meet the illustrators for the first time, receive their medals, and read their stories live from the Governor's Council Room. The book, "Imagine this... Stories Inspired by Agriculture" will launch at the ceremony and will be available for purchase at the event or later, on our website, for $6.

2. Victory Gardening Workshops
Los Angeles County
Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener volunteers will organize and lead low-cost gardening circles and teach the basics of gardening. 18 gardening circles are scheduled to be held throughout Los Angeles County. Each circle will meet about four times, mainly on weekends, to receive instructions and engage in hands-on activities. Participants will become UC-certified Victory Gardeners upon completing the series.
For more information, including class schedule and locations, visit

3. Colusa County AITC Summer Seminar
June 23-24, 2011, Colusa County
This Summer Ag Seminar, sponsored by Colusa County Farm Bureau and University of California Cooperative Extension Colusa County, offers two days of touring ag businesses and farming operations. This year's focus is about seeds. One unit credit from CSU, Chico is offered for their fee; all other meals, tours and materials are free. Registration information will be available May 1, 2011.
For more information, visit

4. Teacher Agricultural Science Technology Education Seminars (TASTES)
June 7-9, 2011, Modesto
Registration deadline: May 1, 2011
This series of one-day seminars will provide teachers with affordable, standards based science experiences which can easily fit into grade level lesson plans. Each day there is a topic introduction, field trips to agricultural operations to see practical applications of each topic, guest speakers and hands-on lesson ideas to take back and use in the classroom. Topics include "Photosynthesis to Deoxyribonucleic Acid and other Latin words," "Getting Buggy With Seeds and Soil," and "Nutrition Connections: From Classroom to Careers." Register for one ($25), two ($40), or three ($50) days.
For more information, and to register, visit

5. Gardens for Learning Available for Purchase in Hardcopy
Gardens for Learning: Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden was released from California School Garden Network (CSGN) in 2007. A revised edition of Gardens for Learning is now available for purchase. To order hard copies of the book, contact Heather Holland at (949) 885-2392. The price of each book is $10.95 plus $5 shipping and handling.
Downloads are still available for free, from

6. Coming Soon from CFAITC
Have you been looking forward to the new edition of the Teacher Resource Guide? Good news! It's at the printers and will be able for order (free to California educators) next month.

On guard! Dogs, donkeys and llamas protect livestock
Story by Steve Adler

Annie works without complaint 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Jennifer, who got her job through a newspaper ad, is never far from those she now considers family. And Socks wouldn't hesitate to put her life on the line for those in her care. But here's the twist: Annie is a dog, Jennifer is a donkey and Socks is a llama. read more...

Lesson Plan: Eat Your Plants
This activity for grades 1-3 helps student identify plant parts and understand how they are connected to the food we eat. Students will discover how to make healthy eating choices.
Download (PDF, 162 KB)

Book: Alfalfabet A to Z by Carol Watterson
New and emerging readers will discover many new sights, sounds, smells, and flavors from agriculture while learning how agriculture enriches their lives. ISBN 978-0-9812317-0-9

Resource: Outdoor Science: A Practical Guide
This 140-page guide from National Science Teachers Association provides practical suggestions for creating, maintaining, and using outdoor classrooms for grades K-8. Simple and inexpensive lessons satisfy national standards in the areas of life science, Earth science, and environmental science.

Website: Harvest of History
This student-friendly site explores where food comes from, how and where it grows, and compares life in 1845 with our modern world. Students can produce their own movie using a "Village Videomaker." Interdisciplinary curriculum for fourth grade students explores how agriculture has been, and still is, an integral part of our lives.

Local Events