Cream of the Crop

March 2012

In this issue:
Teacher Feature - Pennie Segna
1. What's Growin' On? 10th Edition
2. National Agriculture Week Celebratory Events
3. Imagine this... Story Writing Contest Awards Ceremony
4. California Agriculture Day - " Know Your California Farmer"
5. National Ag in the Classroom Conference
6. Friends of the California State Fair Scholarship Program
7. California Arbor Week Photo Contest
8. Forestry Institute for Teachers
9. USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
10. American Community Garden Association Conference
News - Future prospects remain bright for agricultural graduates
Resources

Teacher Feature - Pennie Segna
4th Grade Teacher
Gratton School, Denair
Stanislaus County

Tell us about a golden teaching moment.
A golden moment is when a student tells me they have tried at home what they learned in school and they were able to make it work or grow. It tells me that they like what they are learning and they want to take their education a step further. I never get tired of hearing about this from my students or parents. This is what makes teaching so rewarding for me. read more...

1. What's Growin' On? 10th Edition
The 10th edition of What's Growin' On? CA Crop Talk—Specialty Crops Edition will be available in mid-March. This edition features specialty crops that are grown in California. Many of the activities in this 16-page newspaper are aligned to the Content Standards for California Public Schools.
To request a free classroom set, please visit www.LearnAboutAg.org/wgo.

2. National Agriculture Week Celebratory Events

Save the dates and consider joining us as CFAITC pays tribute to National Agriculture Week.

For event or sponsorship information, please visit www.LearnAboutAg.org/naw.

3. Imagine this... Story Writing Contest Awards Ceremony
Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2012
CFAITC will host the awards ceremony on March 21, 2012 to honor the six winning Imagine this... authors. The state winners will receive medals, a $100 savings bond, resources for their teacher worth $100, and an expense-paid trip to Sacramento for the ceremony. For more information, and to read the winning stories, visit www.LearnAboutAg.org/imaginethis.

4. California Agriculture Day - " Know Your California Farmer"
Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2012
CFAITC is partnering with California Women for Agriculture and California Department of Food and Agriculture to host this year's California Agriculture Day events. The capitol grounds will be bustling with farm animals, great food, and entertainment—all celebrating California's agricultural bounty. The grounds will open to the public 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. with a short program beginning at noon.
For more information, visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/agday.

5. National Ag in the Classroom Conference
Colorado, June 19-22, 2012
"Rendezvous in the Rookies" is the theme for this year's National AITC Conference, June 19-22 in Loveland, Colorado and hosted by the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture and the Western Region Agriculture in the Classroom. Engaging, interactive workshops will share methods for incorporating real-life agricultural applications into classroom style language arts, math, nutrition, science and social studies lessons.
For more information, visit www.agclassroom.org/conference.

6. Friends of the California State Fair Scholarship Program
Deadline: Mar. 9, 2012
Entering and existing college students, who are California residents, are invited to apply in multiple categories for $500-$5,000 scholarships. This program seeks to motivate well-rounded, high academic achievers in pursuit of their careers and life goals.
For more information, and to apply, visit www.bigfun.org.

7. California Arbor Week Photo Contest
Deadline: Mar. 30, 2012
In honor of California Arbor Week, March 7-14, 2012, California ReLeaf is sponsoring California Arbor Week Photo Contest. This contest is an effort to increase awareness and appreciation for the trees and forests in California. There will be a $100 cash prize for the winner of each category.
For more information, visit arborweek.org.

8. Forestry Institute for Teachers
The Forestry Institute for Teachers is a multi-day residence workshop developed by the Northern California Society of American Foresters, University of California Cooperative Extension, Shasta County Office of Education, The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and Project Learning Tree. The goal is to provide K-12 teachers with knowledge, skills and tools to effectively teach their students about forest ecology and forest resource management practices.
For more information and upcoming dates, visit forestryinstitute.org.

9. USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
The USDA has released the 2012 Plant Hardiness Zone Map. This map is the standard to help gardeners and growers determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. New to the 2012 edition, the map is available as an interactive GIS-based format.
For more information, or to download the map, visit planthardiness.ars.usda.gov.

10. American Community Garden Association Conference
San Francisco, Aug. 9-12, 2012
The 33rd Annual American Community Garden Association Conference will be held in San Francisco August 9-12. This inspiring conference includes state-of-the-art, hands-on workshops, provocative keynote speakers, cooking classes, networking opportunities and guided visits to cutting-edge urban community gardens in many of the San Francisco's famous neighborhoods, and in parks, schools, and green spaces around one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
For more information, visit communitygarden.org.

Future prospects remain bright for agricultural graduates
By Shannon Douglass
I can't recall the last time I saw a farmer holding a pitchfork, wearing overalls and chewing on straw, but that stereotypical image of a farmer and agriculturalist still captivates the imagination of many Americans. Recent media coverage has also demonstrated an antiquated view of food and fiber production, misinterpreting U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics information to proclaim college degrees in agriculture as "useless" or "headed for the dustbin." read more...

Support agricultural education: Sign up for the 'Ag Plate'
By Amy Madison
In the last decade, we've all seen special-interest California license plates that support a cause and generate revenue for particular causes or organizations, such as the whale tail for the coastal commission, firemen in action to support firefighters and images of Lake Tahoe to save Lake Tahoe. Now, it's agriculture's turn to own the road to showcase our bounty and support local agricultural education programs year round. read more...

Lesson Plan: What's Growin' On? CA Crop Talk—Specialty Crops Edition
This 16-page newspaper educates students about the many aspects of agriculture. The 10th edition focuses on specialty crops grown in California. It includes specific pages on pumpkins and squash, flowers, herbs, nuts, and underground edibles. Selected activities encourage students to read their local newspaper daily.
Request a free class set at www.LearnAboutAg.org/wgo.

Book: Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres
When two children help plant a garden, they learn that peppers grow up, potatoes grow down, and pumpkin vines twine around and around. ISBN 978-0-7636-4017-0

Resource: The Honey Flies: A Bee's Life
This 20-minute DVD video and 96-page teacher's guide will have you and your students buzzing! These fun, educational materials provide information, classroom activities, and worksheets about bees, honey, and pollination. This resource is best suited for students in grades 4-6. The resource can be ordered from the National Honey Board's website at www.honey.com for $6.50 for certified educators, and $15 for others.

Website: California Bountiful
The California Bountiful website and television program provide an introduction to the farmers and supporting industries who help bring agriculture to you. Website includes recipes, articles, and an educator section with teacher profiles. www.californiabountiful.com.

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