SACRAMENTO -- Sixth-grader Mackenzie Morton dreamed up a tomato named Tammy to show what she knows about farming.
Fifth-grader Chance Holley did it with a tale of two villages that shared their food.
The Stanislaus County students were among the six statewide winners in a story contest sponsored by the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.
They were honored Tuesday at a National Agriculture Day event at the Capitol, where they met Gov. Schwarzenegger and other dignitaries.
The 14th annual Imagine This contest drew more than 9,000 entries. One statewide winner was chosen in each grade from third through eighth.
Mackenzie, the daughter of Rusty and Carrie Morton, is in Sheila Kendall's class at Yolo Middle School in Newman.
Her story is titled "It's Not Easy Being a Green Teen Drama Queen!" It's about Tammy Tomato, who on her first day at Ketchup Junior High frets that other tomatoes have turned red but she hasn't.
She remains green despite having "rolled around in fresh fertilizer and slept with leaf dew on her skin like the Little Miss Tomato magazine had said," Mackenzie wrote. Tammy's mom urges patience as the tale ends.
Chance, the son of Seandra and Travis Holley, is in Nancy Harris' class at Chatom School, west of Turlock.
His story, "The Swap," is about a pair of island villages that have a long-standing feud, but still exchange food every week -- one offering fish, the other produce. During one such meeting, the sons of the mayors share a tomato and a fish, then toss away the seeds and bones. Upon returning, they see that the minerals in the bones have fertilized a new tomato plant.
"From then on, the villagers never got hungry, no matter how bad the season," Chance wrote.
The statewide winners each received a $100 savings bond and medal. Their teachers got $100 worth of classroom materials and free registration at the foundation's annual conference.
The stories were collected in a book that is available for $10 from the foundation, 800-700-2482 or www.cfaitc.org. The stories also can be read on the Web site.
The foundation also announced winners at the regional level. They include:
Hayden Genzoli, seventh grade, Gratton School, Denair, for "The Wish to Be a Bee"
Amy Chiesa, seventh grade, Gratton, for "Two Trees and a Pickle"
Rebekah Muller, eighth grade, Gratton, for "Buzzin' with the Bees"
Blake Dunford, eighth grade, Gratton, for "The Best Snack Food Ever"
Brice Wilson, sixth grade, St. Anthony School, Atwater, for "Soil Man vs. Drought Devastator"
Armando Gonzalez-Gauger, sixth grade, St. Anthony, for "The Cow That Wanted to Produce the Most Milk."
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2385.