Cream of the Crop

November 2011

In this issue:
Teacher Feature - Cathey Anderson
1. San Francisco Farm Day
2. California AITC Conference
3. Turkey Ranch Field Trip Contest
4. Pearcasso Kids' Art Contest
5. Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship
News - Volunteers bring Farm Day to SF schoolkids

Teacher Feature - Cathey Anderson
Teacher (retired), Chairwoman of the Board of San Diego Ag in the Classroom
Valley Center Middle School, Valley Center
San Diego County

Why do you believe it is important for our students to be agriculturally literate and aware in today's society?
Food is life and we live in a hungry world. Without a doubt, students need to understand the issues the agricultural community faces as they battle to keep agriculture at the core of the foundation of our nation. read more...

1. San Francisco Farm Day
Nearly 10,000 San Francisco Bay Area students had the opportunity of a lifetime when California agriculture was showcased on 25 school campuses and at the Cow Palace as part of San Francisco Farm Day on October 20, 2011. This event would not have been possible without the more than 300 farmers and ranchers who volunteered their time to show students where their food and fiber come from.

If you were not able to join us, please visit to see photos. If you were there, visit the website to share your own memories.

In the News
SF Farm Day brings surprise to urban schools (San Francisco Chronicle)
Volunteers bring Farm Day to SF schoolkids (Ag Alert)

2. California AITC Conference
We had a great time at our one-day conference at the Cow Palace. Read the "House that Ag Built" blog to see one participant's experience at this event. Sarah has also written recently about San Francisco Farm Day, how she decorated her classroom with an AITC theme, and about farmer visits.
Do you keep a blog? Let us know! We'd love to follow you and see how you are incorporating agriculture into your classroom!

3. Turkey Ranch Field Trip Contest
Deadline: Nov. 7, 2011
As we approach Thanksgiving, learn about raising the Presidential Turkeys that President Obama will pardon. In 2010, California's own Foster Farms raised the official bird. A four-page activity guide is available to download from Also, your class could win a Field Trip on November 17 to the Modesto ranch where the Presidential Turkeys were raised, meet members of the Presidential Turkey flock, and learn what goes into raising these special birds.
To enter, email a paragraph describing what your class is most thankful for this year, along with your city and class size, to

4. Pearcasso Kids' Art Contest
Deadline: Nov. 15, 2011
Who doesn't want to play with their food? The Pacific Northwest Canned Pears Service is encouraging budding Pearcassos to play with their pears. Take a canned pear and let the creativity begin. Dress it up, animate it, make it cute or fierce all while making it one of a kind. Send a picture of your masterpiece to by November 15, 2011 for a chance to win a cash prize!
For more information, visit

5. Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship
Postmarked on or before Dec. 9, 2011
National Corn Growers Association is offering five $1,000 scholarships are available to students entering at least their second undergraduate year (or any year of graduate school) pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in an agricultural, agribusiness, or an ag vocation field.
For more information, and to enter, visit

Volunteers bring Farm Day to SF schoolkids
By Ching Lee

Standing next to Norman the calf, dairy farmer Jerry Corda of Petaluma asked a group of students at Gordon J. Lau Elementary School in San Francisco to name different types of dairy products that come from cows. A few hands went up, but most of the little arms were reaching to pet Norman. read more...

Book: Down on the Farm series by Sally Morgan or Hannah Ray
Each book in the Down on the Farm series is about a different farm animal with photos, identification of the animal's body parts, life cycle, various breeds of the specific species, and why the animal lives on the farm. At the end of each book are activities and ideas for parents or teachers. The series includes books on bees, chickens, cows, ducks, fish, goats, pigs, and sheep.

Resource: Bearing Fruit: Farm to School Program Evaluation Resources and Recommendations
Farm to school programs celebrated October as National Farm to School month. This comprehensive evaluation of Farm to School programs highlights the overall impact of farm to school efforts for stakeholders—teachers, food service providers, farmers, parents, policy makers, and community members—providing resources and tools to incorporate when assessing a program.

Website: Agriculture's Lasting Heritage's Century Farm
Learn about how century farmers and ranchers have cared for the land and their families for generations and are sharing the message of what really makes a farm or ranch sustainable. This farm is designed for consumers, farmers and ranchers! Agriculture's Lasting Heritage offers video profiles of American Century Farms, written profiles of American Century Farms, engaging agriculture history timeline, free, standards-based educator resources and more.
For more information, and to watch the videos, visit