Amaris Ketcham

Seven Billion and Counting

Blog Post created by Amaris Ketcham on Nov 14, 2011

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education


NAAE Convention Last-minute Details
We'll have professional development workshops, opportunities to get involved in NAAE at the regional and national levels, and time to recognize and reward outstanding agricultural educators. Find out how to get from the airport to the hotel, learn where to purchase advanced tickets for the Host State Social, and make sure you’re prepared to take full advantage of everything it has to offer. Read more»

The National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy applications are now available online here.

The application deadline is January 27, 2012. 
Forty-eight National Agriscience Teacher Ambassadors will be selected from across the nation to take part in this program. Learn More>>

Inner-city Students Learn Indoor Soilless Growing Techniques in Curriculum-guided Science Program
In early October 2010, students at an inner-city Chicago middle school studied the life cycle of plants using a new and innovative soilless media.  The students grew vegetables in the classroom as part of their normal, curriculum based science studies. Read more>>

The Washington Beat:
Child Labor Laws
—Notice of Proposed Rulemaking—The United States Department of Labor (DoL) is proposing revisions to the child labor regulations issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Perkins Reauthorization – The U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education and the CTE community have begun discussions on the reauthorization of the Carl D.

Farm Bill Reauthorization – 2012 will mostly bring in a renewed interest and commitment on the part of Congress to reauthorize the Farm bill.

Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2011 – In mid-October, Senator Tom Harkin (IA) introduced the long anticipated Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2011.

Read more about what's up in Washington»

Communities of Practice

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CAST Friday Notes

Smoked meat is not uncommon, but lighting up a hot dog seems a bit far-fetched. Check out the image war concerning meat. Even the Daily Show gets a shot in.
Check out current news and controversial issues in the world of agriculture and science from The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology's (CAST) weekly online newsletter, Friday Notes. 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 November 11 edition of CASTFriday Notes.

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From FFA

Financial Planning and Management Lessons Free

Instructional resources addressing Financial Planning and Management are available for use by agricultural educators. Instructional resources include lesson plans, PowerPointtm presentations, student learning activities, and assessments. Lesson topics include: (a) introduction to financial planning and management, (b) wants, needs and SMART goals, (c) short, intermediate and long term goals, (d) budgeting and cash flow, (e) paying yourself first, (f) credit history and ratings, (g) loans and interest, (h) credit cards, (i) investment basics, (j) taxes, and (k) insurance. Each lesson includes subject matter content that is adaptable for 9th through 12th grade students with an emphasis on building financial capability and financial decision making. The instructional resources were developed by Agricultural Education faculty and graduate students at Ohio State University with the development costs funded by the United States Department of Agriculture/National Institute for Food and Agriculture (USDA/NIFA) (grant award number: 2009-38414-19696) Secondary/ Two-Year Postsecondary Agricultural Education Challenge Grant. The lesson plans are freely accessible to agricultural educators without charge at the National FFA Organization web site here.

2012 scholarship application goes live Nov. 15
The National FFA Organization awards approximately $2 million in scholarships designed to fit the diversity of our applicants. The 2012 online scholarship application and helpful tools will be available at on Nov. 15. This year, our top three scholarship sponsors are Ford, Cargill and AGCO. Review eligibility requirements in the 2012 Guidebook, also available on on Nov. 15. Applications must be submitted online by 5 p.m. EST Feb. 15, 2012. A completed signature page, postmarked no later than Feb. 22, 2012, is required to complete eligibility.

NEW! Grant Opportunity to Help Fight Hunger

FFA is excited to announce a new grant opportunity for chapters, FFA: Food For All! Chapters may apply for up to $2,500 to support year-long service-learning projects focused on developing and implementing sustainable hunger programs. Applications are due Dec. 15. Project concepts include, but are not limited to; community gardens, raising broilers or tilapia and educational outreach. Visit the FFA: Food For All website for additional information. The Living to Serve team will also be hosting informational webinars, over the next month, to provide guidance and support to interested chapters. Dates and times can be found on the website. Registration is required to participate in a webinar. Grants are provided through funding from Farmers Feeding the World and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. Read More>>

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New “Get Involved” Site Helps Us Work Together to Reach More Folks Who Need Help
Looking to help USDA fight hunger and obesity? The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has launched a new webpage just for you! The “Get Involved” webpage is full of tools your organization can use to improve outreach efforts for food help programs like SNAP, Summer Food, CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Meals, and more. When you visit our site you’ll discover how your organization, or even you as an individual, can dive into FNS outreach.  Read more »

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From FFA Alumni

National FFA Alumni Staffing Update
Executive Director Frank Saldana will be transitioning to the National FFA Local Program Support team mid-November.  Until a new individual is hired, Tony Small, National FFA Partner Services Division Director, will serve as interim director of the National FFA Alumni Association.  Daily operations will continue to be handled by the National FFA Alumni staff.  We will keep you informed once the job announcement has been posted and once the position has been filled.  Please feel free to contact the staff or Tony with any questions or concerns.

IMPORTANT UPDATES regarding FFA Alumni membership national contacts
To help us expedite the processing of membership and response to questions, please implement these new strategies:
1) When mailing checks to National FFA Alumni, please address envelope as follows vs. to any individual
   National FFA Alumni
   Attn:  Accounting
   PO Box 68960
  Indianapolis, IN 46268-0960
2) All FFA Alumni membership questions, name changes, address changes, etc. that pop-up throughout the year should now be emailed to streamline service.  Exceptions to this process include:  Memorial Scholarships and tax exempt status questions.  Those items may continue to be sent to Phyllis McDonald at or Amber Smyer at

2011-2012 National FFA Alumni Membership Challenge
This past year we challenged each state to help meet our long-term goal of having an active local FFA Alumni affiliate for every FFA chapter by increasing the number of affiliates in their state by 11% in 2011.  We were overwhelmed with the response to the challenge with 143 new/reactivating affiliates in the year.  Seventeen states met the 11% growth challenge and as a result received a corduroy banner recognizing their accomplishment.  To keep the momentum going, we are issuing a new recognition program for state associations.  Each year that you increase the number of affiliates within your state by 10% you’ll receive a year pin to be added to your personalized corduroy banner recognizing your efforts to help us reach our long-term goal to serve every FFA chapter. Please with any questions.

National FFA Alumni 2011-2012 Webinar Series Announced!
Starting November 29th we’ll launch the 2011-2012 National FFA Alumni Webinar Series!  Be sure to pass the word along to state and local FFA Alumni leaders that this educational series is available.  If you are unable to participate in an evening webinar, each session is recorded and available to be viewed online.  Check out past webinar sessionsRegister now for topic:  “Promoting YOUR FFA Alumni to Those Closest to You” on November 29th at 7:30 pm Eastern.

FFA Alumni “Present” page updated
Check out the FFA Alumni “Present” page which currently features:  Nebraska FFA Alumni, Idaho FFA Alumni & FFA Foundation, Pennsylvania FFA Alumni and Bayou Area FFA Alumni in Louisiana!  Have a project, person or program you’d like featured for your region?  Send an email to

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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.

Applications must be postmarked on or before December 9, 2011. Rules, requirements and more information along with a downloadable application areavailable here.

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