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CAST Friday Notes

New media and ag education take center stage on page one, with controversies about child labor laws and “meatless Mondays” also showing up. If you haven’t yet carved your pumpkin, check out the amazing art way down in the General Section of the news links. Happy Halloween.


Find out more from The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology's (CAST) weekly online newsletter,Friday Notes. It has been distributed to member organizations, companies, and universities for years, and now thanks to a grant from Winfield Solutions (a Land O’Lakes company), instructors of agriculture have access to the wide range of material from CAST, and they may forward the information to students for educational use with no strings attached.

Click here to access the October 28 edition of CAST Friday Notes.

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The comment period for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) addressing child labor in agriculture has been extended to December 1, 2011.


Advocacy Toolkit: Tips on Using Social Media

  • Twitter: Direct to your legislator  or farm bureau by adding @ and your legislator's handle before your message; for example, "@Barack_Obama"
  • Facebook: Write your story on your legislator's Facebook wall.
  • Develop short, direct messages.
  • Alternate data and stories.
  • Use hashtags (#) on Twitter.
  • Use strong but respectful language.
  • Point to links for more information (shorten links through

Thanks ACTE for providing social media tips. Read more ways to advocate>>>


Two ways to relax and mingle at the NAAE Convention:

NAAE Reception
Kick-start your convention experience by meeting other attendees in a relaxed setting. The reception will be from 9-10pm on Tuesday, November 15th, so whether you have a late flight or are attending one of the awards dinners that evening, you should still be able to make it.  All registered convention attendees will receive two free drink tickets for this event when you check in at the convention registration desk. Get details.

Host State Social
Don't forget to get your Host State Social tickets in advance. On Thursday, November 17, from 6:30-10pm, NAAE Convention attendees with go to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery for a brewery tour and meal. Tickets are $25 per person. More info>>

Congratulations to our Poster Build Contest Winners!
Annette Weeks
at Battle Ground HS in Washington won the Classroom Supplies Grant.
Jamie Renier at University of Wisconsin--River Falls won the the scholarship!
Download a poster for your classroom>>


More on Communities of Practice

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New Report Looks at STEM Field Growth and Concerns

A new report on STEM by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce looks at the variation of STEM areas, the growth of STEM related fields, the economic importance and opportunity of STEM occupations, and the need for more STEM workers.

Read the Report>>

Senate ESEA Includes Discussion About Work-Based Learning

On October 20, Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) sponsored an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that would require schools to provide internship and apprenticeship opportunties to students in low-performing schools. Although the amendment was not adopted, it sparked a good conversation about the value of such opportunities related to student engagement.

Read More>>

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From FFA

A-MAZE-ing Corn Labrynth SAE

If you’ve ever been to a pumpkin patch, you’ve likely seen a corn maze. But not many have seen the likes of the Platte Valley FFA corn maze in Kersey, Colo.

The sprawling maze was located in the chapter- owned field directly behind the FFA ag shop. Early on, the Platte Valley FFA finance committee decided the corn maze would be a corporation, which would allow members to create earnings, savings and investments to better their supervised agricultural experience (SAE) projects for the year.

See a Photo & Read More>>

SAE Grant Applications Open
The 2011 grant application period is now open. It is highly recommended that you familiarize yourself with the rubric before filling out your application. Grant application period closes November 15. Applications postmarked after that date will not be considered.

Read More>>

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MyPlate Food & Nutrition Education Resources
This year USDA has published the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the new MyPlate food icon, and online resources including the comprehensive for easy access to nutrition education and programs.

MyPlate is the new icon to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more information to help them do that by going to The icon is available for use in English and Spanish (MiPlato), and its messages are simple. Would you like to keep up with the latest materials? Sign up to be a community partner in the new Nutrition Communicators Network or follow MyPlate on twitter. If you’re already using MyPlate at your dinner table, take the MyPlate Fruits and Vegetables Video Challenge by signing up your friends, family, or organization to record a 30 second video of how you’re making MyPlate your plate. Your video could win up to $1,500 for being a great example for kids, eating at home, or eating away from home.


Farm Bill Priorities from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsac's Column

"I laid out my priorities for the upcoming Farm Bill.  This legislation addresses farming, but also deals with many important aspects of life in America.  It’s about supporting the jobs of the future, it’s about keeping pace with the changing needs of agriculture and rural America, and it’s about providing a safe and ample food supply for the nation.

As Congress writes the portion of the bill involving agriculture, the focus should be on three core principles that have shaped the success of the American farmer over generations: maintaining a strong safety net, supporting sustainable productivity and promoting vibrant markets."

Read More>>

What USDA-NIFA AITC Is Tweeting
5 Myths of Common Core State Standards
Will STEM focus add an hour to the school day?

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From the American Soybean Association

Scholarship Announcement

The American Soybean Association is offering a$5,000 scholarship to a high school senior who plans to pursue a degree in agriculture next year during the 2012-2013 school year, at any accredited college or university.  Deadline to apply is November 15, 2011.    Specific academic, leadership, references, and an essay are required.   For more details on specific requirements and to apply, click here.

The scholarship is made possible through a grant from BASF Corp.

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From the National Corn Growers Association

Scholarship Announcement

Please be advised that the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is again offering its Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship thanks to the sponsorship of BASF Corporation.

Five (5) one thousand dollar ($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.

Applicants or a parent/guardian must be a member of the NCGA.  Funds are for the 2012-2013 school year.  Past scholarship winners and employees and the families of employees of any division of BASF or their subsidiaries or the NCGA are not eligible for the scholarship.

Applications must be postmarked on or before December 9, 2011.

Rules, requirements and more information along with a downloadable application are available here.


Host a CASE Institute
CASE Institute Host Site applications are due November 1 this year. We hope to be able to open registration to participants for summer 2012 by January 1. If you are considering hosting a CASE Institute please visit the CASE website at for details

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