Opportunity Roundup

Opportunity Roundup

I’m still sifting through all the amazing brochures and packets that I brought home from the state California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom conference.  Finals Week at school delayed me a bit, but I have finally unpacked the suitcase and put it away. Here are some of the gems I discovered in the process, along with a few e-mails and other tidbits I’ve received recently.

The Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund has money for K-8 teachers, high school FFA students, and higher education or vocational students studying organic agriculture. The California Certified Organic Farmers Foundation funds the grants, which range from $1,000 to $2,500. The California Certified Organic Farmers is a non-profit organization based in Santa Cruz.

The Orange County Fairgrounds will be the site of Imaginology April 12-14, 2019. This annual free event in Costa Mesa includes educational and fun activities for families. Field trips are available. Website is ocfair.com/steam.

Speaking of the Orange County Fair and Event Center, the Centennial Farm located on the fairgrounds is available for field trips, educational programs, and volunteer opportunities. Programs at the three-acre working farm are offered from October through June and are aligned with California Common Core Standards.

Cal Poly Pomona has a farm store. The Huntley College of Agriculture offers produce, custom gifts and seasonal items, local honey, plants, and more. The five-acre field in front of the store turns into a pumpkin patch for the October Pumpkin Festival. A petting farm is open most Saturdays from March to October. Check the website for more information.

Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Elk Grove is hosting Brunch with the Birds from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18, at 1624 Hood Franklin Road. Brunch will be in the amphitheater rain or shine. Members of the Friends group and refuge staff will be on hand to talk about the refuge and its wildlife. The refuge manager will lead a nature walk. For more information, click here.

The E.A.T. Foundation gives teachers the opportunity to live with a farm family for three days, learn about agriculture, and get some curriculum. Two sessions are offered: June 17-20 and July 15-18, 2019. Continuing education credit is available. The flyer lists several memorable farm experiences: learning from the experts about water, soil, bugs, and agricultural crime; driving a tractor; farm and dairy tours; and free room and board. Host families are for teachers living outside Fresno, Kings or Tulare counties.

The Dairy Council of California offers K-12 curriculum, resources for wellness programs, tips to reduce food waste, educational products for families, research, and online games and activities for kids and teens. The council also has a mobile dairy classroom available for school assemblies. For more information, click here.

The Farmworker Institute of Education and Leadership Development (FIELD), the City of Riverside, the Riverside Food Systems Alliance and Raincross Farms have partnered to train adults who are interested in learning farming skills and techniques. Classes will be held at the Cesar Chavez Community Center, 2060 University Ave., in Riverside. The course will include hands-on lessons in soil development, irrigation, vegetable crops, pesticide use, organic farming, agricultural business, marketing, and food handling and safety. High school credit is available. Training is done in six to eight-week modules. Interested? Call 760-972-4852.

Acorn Naturalists, based in Tustin, sells resources for outdoor lessons in the classroom and on the trail.

The California Strawberry Commission in Watsonville has free nutrition materials for schools, including bookmarks, posters, placemats, and activity books.

The Nutrients for Life Foundation announced it has revised its website and introduced a new interactive site called H2Know for high school students: a case study on water quality in Lake Erie. The project is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards.

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