Cream of the Crop

May 2011

In this issue:
Teacher Feature - Susie Calhoun
1. Summer Reading Keeps Kids Sharp
2. Seeds for School Gardens and Community People's Gardens
3. Seed Fund School Garden Grant
4. Farm Camp at Countryside Farms
5. Teacher Agricultural Science Technology Education Seminars (TASTES)
6. California Fertilizer Foundation School Garden Grant Program
7. Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA)
8. San Francisco Farm Day - Call for Volunteers
News - To 'Eat Local, Buy California Grown' benefits all
Resources
County - Local Events

Susie Calhoun

Teacher Feature - Susie Calhoun
1st Grade Teacher
Oakwood Elementary School
Stockton, CA

Tell us about your experience at San Francisco Farm Day.
I first participated in Farm Day in 1981. We visited two schoolsóone was a newer school another olderóboth with very limited space for the children and the visiting animals. Here were children in an "urban jungle," many who had never seen a farm animal. read more...

1. Summer Reading Keeps Kids Sharp
From the June swoon to the August slump, it's difficult to keep young minds engaged in learning during summer months. The May/June 2011 issue of California Country magazine features suggestions for combating the "summer slide."
For eight recommendations, and to read the article, visit www.californiacountry.org.
More book ideas are available through California Country's book reviews and CFAITC's books.

2. Seeds for School Gardens and Community People's Gardens
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is supporting the People's Garden Initiative by providing seeds to school gardens. Seeds are also available to community gardens that designate their gardens as People's Gardens. For spring and summer planting, the following seeds are available: radishes, squash, green beans, corn, pumpkins, strawberries, popcorn, beets, and Swiss chard.
Schools interested in designating their gardens as People's Gardens can request to register through any FSA Office. Requests for seeds can be made through any FSA office or by sending an email request to Beverlee Block at Beverlee.block@ca.usda.gov.
More information about the People's Garden Initiative is available at www.usda.gov.

3. Seed Fund School Garden Grant
Deadline: May 31, 2011
K-12 schools are invited to apply for $500 "Starter Seed Fund Grants" to help create a school garden. Schools in Northern California (counties including or north of Monterey County, Kings County, Tulare County, and Inyo County) are also eligible for $2,000 Seed Fund Grants.
For more information, and to apply, visit www.facebook.com/yestocarrots.

4. Farm Camp at Countryside Farms
June 6-10, 2011
June 20-24, 2011
July 11-15, 2011

Children ages 4 years to 10 years old are welcome to attend Farm Camp at Countryside Farms in Stockton. Activities include light farm chores, owl pellet dissection, seed planting, and more.
For more information visit www.learnaboutag.org/eventcalendar and www.countryside-farms.com.

5. Teacher Agricultural Science Technology Education Seminars (TASTES)
June 6-8, 2011, Modesto
Registration deadline: May 15, 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 ($55) days. CSU credits are available for those attending all three days.
For more information, and to register, visit www.agsciencecenter.org/events/tastes.

6. California Fertilizer Foundation School Garden Grant Program
Deadline: June 15, 2011
California public and private elementary, middle and high schools are invited to apply for this grant of $1,200 for continuation and/or implementation of in- and after-school garden programs. At the end of each year, winning schools can re-apply for a progress grant of $1,500 and a free agricultural field trip.
For more information, and to apply, visit www.calfertilizer.org.

7. Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA)
Deadline: July 1, 2011
Given only to Californians who exemplify exceptional leadership for protecting and enhancing the environment while at the same time promoting economic growth, GEELA is California's highest environmental honor. Competition is open to all California residents, businesses, non-profit organizations, professional and trade associations, communities, state and local government entities, tribes, and federal agencies operating in California. Categories include Children's Environmental Education, Ecosystem And Watershed Stewardship, and more.
For more information, and to apply, visit www.calepa.ca.gov/Awards/GEELA.

8. San Francisco Farm Day - Call for Volunteers
Oct. 20, 2011
In October, in celebration of our 25th anniversary, California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom is bringing the farm to San Francisco. School garden demonstrations, food and farming-themed classroom presentations, and exciting activity stations will allow nearly 10,000 SFUSD students to experience agriculture like never before.
Are you interested in participating? There are several opportunities for involvement. Volunteers like you will make it a success! Indicate your interest by filling out the online form and we'll contact you with the details.



To 'Eat Local, Buy California Grown' benefits all
By Fiona Ma and Cathleen Galgiani

As members of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, it's important to us that our constituents and all Californians have access to wholesome, affordable food. Because of that, we've taken a keen interest in the health and vitality of California farms and ranches, and we are encouraged to see more people paying attention to the source of their food and what goes into bringing it from the farm to the table. read more...

Lesson Plan: An Ag Interview
In this lesson, students will gain a greater awareness of the role agriculture plays in the American economy and get first-hand experience of how to conduct an interview. Students will practice oral and written skills while learning about agricultural careers.
Download

Book: In the Garden with Dr. Carver by Susan Grigsby
A story about how George Washington Carver, the famous plant scientist, brings his wagon to a community to teach a group of school children how to turn the poor soil into fertile soil, grow plants and show that everything in nature is connected. ISBN 978-0-8075-3630-8

Resource: Watershed Protection Student Activity Booklet
This booklet features creative and hands-on investigations, demonstrations, science experiments, educational games, and stories designed to stimulate understanding of the topic, watershed. www.watereducation.org

Website: My American Farm
In April the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture announced the launching of the new version of My American Farm an interactive website that helps students to learn where their food comes from. There are agriculturally themed games enhanced with downloadable student activities, videos, facts and e-comics, a searchable "Educator Resources" section, and a "Fun Family Activities" section. www.myamericanfarm.org

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