Cream of the Crop

September 2011

In this issue:
Teacher Feature - Bev McAmis
1. California AITC Conference
2. Imagine this... Story Writing Contest
3. San Francisco Farm Day
4. Agricultural Fact and Activity Sheets
5. Teach Beef Newsletter
6. Caring for Our Watersheds
7. International Green Schoolyard Conference
News - Imagine this...
County - Local Events

Bev McAmis

Teacher Feature - Bev McAmis

What is your favorite AITC program/resource/event and why?
The annual state conference sponsored by CFAITC is an absolutely phenomenal learning experience for teachers. Of the many times I've attended, I have always been awed by the diversity and extensiveness of California agriculture—which Ag in the Classroom does a great job of highlighting. Conference keynote speakers are very inspiring and leave participants highly motivated. read more...

1. California AITC Conference
Sept. 24, 2011, AGRIscapes, Pomona
conference Space is filling up for the one-day conference in southern California at AGRIscapes. Take advantage of this opportunity to attend a gathering concentrated with resources and inspiration. What will you learn in one session that will take your classroom to the next level? Registration is $50 and includes meals, speakers, two workshop sessions, a tour of the facility, make 'n' takes, and farmer panel.
For more information, and to register, visit

2. Imagine this... Story Writing Contest
Deadline: Nov. 1, 2011
How are you incorporating agriculture in your classroom this school year? Use the Imagine this... Story Writing Contest to bring the importance of agriculture home for your students. Students in grades 3-8 research a topic of their choice related to California agriculture and write 750 words of creative story or non-fictional account. State-winning authors have their stories illustrated and published in a book in the spring, receive a medal, and $100 savings bond at an awards ceremony in Sacramento. Encourage your students—today's participants could be tomorrow's best-selling authors.
For more information, and to download an entry form, visit

3. San Francisco Farm Day
Oct. 20, 2011
25 schools in San Francisco Unified School District have invited agriculture onto their campuses through a Farm Day this October. California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom got its start more than a quarter century ago with a farm day in San Francisco and we're celebrating with a revival of the event. Home school and private school students will also have an experience to remember with animals and activity stations waiting for them at the Cow Palace. The festivities continue in the afternoon when volunteers and supporters convene at the Cow Palace for a barbecue to recognize 25 years of Agriculture in the Classroom and industry-wide partnerships.

How you can participate:

4. Agricultural Fact and Activity Sheets
cherries Our latest addition to agricultural fact and activity sheets features cherries. Learn about how this fruit is produced, where it is grown and its nutritional value. Then, get hands-on experience with lesson ideas.
To download, visit

5. Teach Beef Newsletter
Volume 5, Issue 1 of the educator newsletter from the California Beef Council is now available online. This issue features "The Safe Food Journey" with a poster and teaching and activity guide designed to educate students and their families about the basics of safe, hygienic and healthy handling of food from farm to dining table.
To download this and past issues, and to download the educational resource order form, visit

6. Caring for Our Watersheds
Workshop: Oct. 14, 2011 (Register by Oct.3)
Deadline: Feb. 3, 2012

Center for Land-Based Learning and Agrium, Inc. invite students in grades 9-12 in the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River Watersheds to participate in the 2011-12 Caring for our Watersheds program. Counties include Yolo, Solano, Sacramento, Colusa, Yuba, Sutter, Glenn, El Dorado, Placer, and San Joaquin. By answering the question "What can you do to improve your watershed?" entrants will compete for up to $1,000 in cash and $1,000 to complete their project. Schools can receive up to $1,000 in matching rewards and can receive $100 for every ten complete proposals submitted, even if they do not send students to finals.
To learn more about the program and watershed issues, attend a workshop on Oct. 14 in Winters, CA.
For more information, contact Beth Del Real at (530) 795-1544 or visit

7. International Green Schoolyard Conference
Sept. 16-18, 2011, San Francisco
Learn about cutting-edge schoolyards and school gardens, meet like-minded colleagues from the United States and abroad, share ideas, tour local school grounds, and bring it all back to your own community.
For more information, visit

Imagine this...
"The exciting thing about the 'Imagine this...' story writing contest is seeing a child with a winning story become a published author," said Mary Landau, a regional coordinator for the contest in Southern California. "To have their story illustrated, to have their idea come to life, that makes the children feel so wonderful!" read more...

Book: Vehicles on the Farm by Lynn Peppas
Working on a farm can require many different machines. Learn about the various vehicles used through colorful pictures, descriptions and functions of the vehicles used in agriculture. ISBN 978-0-7787-3065-1

Resource: Understanding Invasive Aquatic Weeds
This resource is an informational booklet with fun activities for students to learn about invasive aquatic species found in North America. Includes interactive links to key concepts and terminology, video clips, and games that help illustrate the serious problems associated with these plant species.

Website: Bureau of Reclamation
This website provides information on the American River Water Education Center where you can find information on the American River Watershed, water efficient gardens, tours that are available and other water education resources.

Local Events