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Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education

From NAAE

Child Labor Laws Update
The deadlines have now expired for getting members of the United States Congress to sign on to the House and Senate letters opposing the U.S. Department of Labor's proposed rulemaking on the child labor laws pertaining to agricultural labor. Thank you to those NAAE members and others who contacted their members of Congress to request they sign on to the letters.

 

Here is the House letter to U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis signed by 153 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; open this PDF file to see if your representative signed on to the letter. Click here to see Representative Rehberg's press release on the House letter to Secretary Solis.

 

Did you know? The National Science Teachers Association offers a discount to current NAAE members for a membership rate of $60. That is almost 20% less than the normal membership rate. Many ag teachers either also teach science courses separately or as part of the agriculture curriculum. Membership with the National Science Teachers Association gives you access to resources, ideas, and professional development. More about your benefits>>

 

The National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy applications are 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.  There will be two weeks: June 23-29 and July 8-13, 2012 and an Ambassador is only required to attend one week. Learn More>>

 

Communities of Practice

 

From CAST

The lead stories touch upon the child/farm labor laws and student “beefology” programs. You might also want to visit the reindeer cam, see a photo of the monster croc caught live in Indonesia, or read about the young farm couple who got married country style. Click on the CAST blog if your farm jobs have ever made you wonder whether to sing “Take this job and love it or shove it.”

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology's (CAST) weekly online newsletter, Friday Notes is available due 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 December 16 edition of CASTFriday Notes.

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From AITC

Florida Seeks Ways to Add More Local Produce to School Meals
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam met with school district representatives, farmers and distributors to find ways to add more locally grown fruits and vegetables to student meals. The state's Agriculture Department will oversee school nutrition programs beginning in January, and Putnam said that while Florida has been busy feeding the rest of the country, it has not paid attention to its schools. Read More>>

 

From FFA

The Agricultural Career Network is a new, nationwide system designed to help FFA members document their educational achievements, create robust portfolios and pursue scholarships and employment opportunities.

The purpose of the career network is to improve the quality, service and reach of FFA. Data collected through the network will help document the impact and relevance of FFA and agricultural education programs, drive FFA program improvement and build a growing base of support for agricultural education. Read More>>

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From FFA Alumnihttp://www.fb.org/blog/?p=1277

FFA Alumni Development Conference!
Each year state and local FFA Alumni leaders are invited to this action packed four day conference.  In 2012 we’re excited to be in Bozeman, Montana July 11-15.  As a state or local leader this conference offers you the chance to learn more about FFA Alumni, provides an opportunity to strengthen relationships and provide input on planning, and gather ideas from across the nation on how Alumni are supporting FFA and agricultural education!  We encourage you to attend and consider how you might assist your national FFA officer candidate, teacher leaders and/or state FFA staff to attend as well to continue to build support for FFA Alumni within your state.  Each state receives one grant to cover half the conference fee for one official state representative.  Conference pricing and a tentative agenda will be available this spring.  Contactalumni@ffa.org with any questions.

 

National FFA Alumni Webinar Series
National FFA Alumni is working hard to create resources and services to strengthen local and state FFA Alumni to help better serve you, state associations, teachers and local affiliates!  Each month national staff host an educational webinar open to any interested parties.  The 2011-12 webinar series topics range from training on how to become a greater asset to your local teacher and program to understanding today’s agriculture, agricultural education and FFA.  Each session is recorded and can be accessed online at any point for reference.  We invite you to join us on a future webinar of interest or check out last year’s sessions.  We would appreciate any assistance in spreading the word to members, teachers, and team ag ed regarding this service.

If you were unable to attend December’s webinar; Developing a Program of Activities, you can find all material and the recorded webinar on the FFA Alumni website.

 

From ACTE

Perkins Level-Funded in Omnibus
On December 17, Congress finalized a funding package that contains the remaining nine appropriations bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, including the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill. The legislation passed the Houseand Senate with bipartisan support.  In this bill, Perkins is level-funded! This is fantastic news! Read more...

 

House Introduces Two Troublesome WIA Bills
Reps. Foxx (R-NC) and Heck (R-NV) have introducedtwo pieces of legislation that will set the stage for the House Republican's attempt to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The Streamlining Workforce Development Programs Act sponsored by Rep. Foxx proposes to consolidate 33 current job training programs into four funding streams. Read more...

 

Sens. Collins and McCaskill Release Bipartisan Jobs Bill
Sens. Collins (R-ME) and McCaskill (D-MO) have released a plan to spur legislative movement on getting Americans back to work. Their version of a jobs bill focuses on four key areas: tax cuts for small business and American workers, infrastructure, removing obstacles to create jobs and investing in a skilled workforce. Read more...

 

 

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education

 

From CAST

Nutritious food, junk food, credible science, junk science. Sometimes hard to tell what is truly science-based, but Friday Notes offers many of the current issues, and page one this week includes dust, meat myths, and the child labor law debate. Check the blog link for the Mr. Ed angle of the horse issue.

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 December 9 edition of CASTFriday Notes.

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From NAAE

Dear Colleague Letter to Senators Regarding
Child Labor Laws

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (Kansas) and U.S. Senator Ben Nelson (Nebraska) have prepared a “Dear Colleague” letter regarding the proposed rulemaking on the child labor laws.  It is important that you contact your U.S. senators’ offices immediately and ask them to sign on to the Moran/Nelson Dear Colleague letter regarding the child labor laws pertaining to agricultural labor.

A copy of the Dear Colleague letter may be accessed here and a copy of a 12-page letter that the senators submitted to the Department of Labor is here.You can get your two senators’ phone numbers from the NAAE Legislative Action Center. More info>>

 

Great professional development webinar from AAFCS! Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): Separating Fact from Fiction. The controversy over genetically modified foods rages on, while consumers and health/nutrition professionals try to sort through the science in order to understand the relative advantages and disadvantages of eating foods that have had their genes altered in some way. ThisTuesday, December 13th at 4:00pm EST. Special NAAE Member Rate
$40 with the code: BUCKLE. Register>>

 

Communities of Practice

 

From FFA

Today’s Challenges; Today’s Leaders: Real World Conversations for the Classroom
Visit www.ffa.org/tctl to find this new lesson resource for teachers to enhance student leadership skills and develop an awareness of the world around them. Twenty lesson plans around diversity, hunger, advocacy and sustainability for candid conversations that empower students to lead.

 

REL Appalachia Provides Tools for Rural Schools Webinar Series
The Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia (REL Appalachia) is finishing 2011 with a bang! Three Webinars are scheduled over the next two weeks, starting tomorrow (Thursday, Dec. 8) on important topics for education and career training in rural areas. Learn more here or visit the REL Appalachia Web site,http://www.relappalachia.org/

The Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Appalachia serves the applied education research needs of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. REL Appalachia is part of a system of 10 research laboratories funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, which supports efforts to improve public education at the state, local, and school level. Encourage supporters of education in rural areas to "Get Connected" by subscribing to the Rural Education listserv atwww.ed.gov

 

The National FFA Organization will not be offering the Agri-Entrepreneurship Program in 2012. We will spend this next year evaluating this program’s format and impact. State staff and advisors will be notified whether the program will continue or be revised for 2013. If you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Carter at rcarter@ffa.org or 317-802-4271.

 

FFA: Food For All - Grant Opportunity to Help Fight Hunger!
There are still a couple days to apply for FFA: Food For All Grants. Chapters may apply for up to $2,500 to support year-long service-learning projects focused on developing and implementing sustainable hunger programs. 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 the application and additional information. Applications are due Dec. 15 with award announcements being made the week of Feb. 6-10. Grants are provided through funding from Farmers Feeding the World and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. www.ffa.org/foodforall. Applications due by Dec. 15th

 

From CTEhttp://www.fb.org/blog/?p=1277

Perkins Funding Still in Jeopardy
The continuing resolution (CR) passed by Congress last month is set to expire on December 16. Having passed three of the 12 appropriations bills, Congress must now pass the remaining nine bills or another CR.Call your Member of Congress today and encourage them to work to complete the remaining appropriations bills and to fund the Perkins Act at FY11 levels. You can reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Senators' and/or Representative's office. See details»

 

Here is a useful collection of advocacy tips:

Connections CountAlways Be Honest
Keep It Real!Involve the Business Community
Specific Statements SucceedUse External Research Sources
Be FlexibleUtilize Staff Connections
Put a Face on Your Programhttp://www.acteonline.org/advocacytips.aspx#8/31/09Get Visual
Actions Speak Louder Than Wordshttp://www.acteonline.org/advocacytips.aspx#9/7/09Find Common Ground
Know the FactsShow Them What You've Got!

 

From the US Dept. of Education

33 STATES, D.C., SUBMIT INTENTS TO NOMINATE GREEN RIBBON SCHOOLS

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that 33 states and the District of Columbia have submitted intents to nominate schools for the new Green Ribbon Schools awards program launched this past September. Schools nominated by state education agencies are eligible to receive the award.  

“We are excited about the potential impact the Green Ribbon Schools awards program can have in encouraging schools to improve their energy efficiency, create healthy environments for students and staff, and enhance their work to effectively prepare graduates for 21st century careers,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

The program asks states to nominate schools in their jurisdiction that come closest to achieving the high bar that Green Ribbon sets: net zero environmental impact of facilities, net positive health impact on students and staff, and 100% environmentally literate graduates.
U.S. Green Building Council Center for Green Schools Director Rachel Gutter has commended the program as “the biggest thing to happen to the green schools movement.”

The program has facilitated collaboration among federal agencies, state governments and non-governmental entities to bring more private and public resources to support schools in spite of tough economic times.

Participating states are currently posting applications for schools in their jurisdictions, and will submit nominees to the Department by March 22, 2012. The Department will announce winners in April, 2012 and will host the first national U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools ceremony in Washington, D.C., in late May 2012. The national ceremony will be followed by local ceremonies at each of the winning schools in fall 2012. Learn more>>

 

 

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education

 

From CAST

Several hot items in the news from horse slaughter to arsenic and apple juice.  A vegetarian vet student explains the necessity for “factory farms,” and Lady Gaga shows up on our membership page.

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 December 2 edition of CASTFriday Notes.

 

From NAAE

Advocacy Update
Thank you to all who submitted comments regarding the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DoL) proposed rulemaking on the child labor regulations.  As of Friday morning, there were 10,158 items, including public submissions, in the docket folder. If you submitted comments, you can enter your Comment Tracking Number (or just enter your name) in the “Search Within The Docket Folder” block on this website, and your specific comments will come up.Search or Browse the Docket Folder>>

 

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.  There will be two weeks: June 23-29 and July 8-13, 2012 and an Ambassador is only required to attend one week.  This program is sponsored by DuPont and is a special project of the National FFA Foundation and managed by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. Learn More>>

Communities of Practice

 

From FFA

FFA Chapters who did not receive their National Chapter Spur may contact Jenna Clark at jclark@ffa.org. Please email your chapter name, chapter number and address to her to obtain your 2011 Spur.

 

The National FFA Organization will not be offering the Agri-Entrepreneurship Program in 2012. We will spend this next year evaluating this program’s format and impact. State staff and advisors will be notified whether the program will continue or be revised for 2013. If you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Carter atrcarter@ffa.org or 317-802-4271.

 

FFA: Food For All - Grant Opportunity to Help Fight Hunger!
FFA is excited to announce a new grant opportunity for middle and high school 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. 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 the application and additional information. Applications are due Dec. 15 with award announcements being made the week of Feb. 6-10. Grants are provided through funding from Farmers Feeding the World and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. www.ffa.org/foodforall. Applications due by Dec. 15th

 

From NSTAhttp://www.fb.org/blog/?p=1277

STEM Competition for Middle Grades
Heading into its 10th year, eCYBERMISSION is a free, web-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics competition for students in grades 6-9. Your students can compete against other students in their grades for state, regional, and national awards. Teams consisting of 3-4 students and a team advisor would work to solve problems in their community utilizing the scientific method, scientific inquiry or engineering design process and can win at the state, regional and national levels. To date, more than $8.5 million has been awarded to students throughout the country with more to be awarded in 2012. Deadline to register is  December 16, 2011. See details»

 

From USDA-AITC

Beef and Nutrition Packet
This packet provides activities focused on the healthy benefits that beef provides and nutrition. Other activities examine the difference between beef and dairy cattle as well as one famous cow’s role in Illinois history. Plus, there are great nutrition activities for students about meal planning. Use this packet along with other beef and nutrition information as a useful tool for your classroom. Created by Illinois AITC, this packet features useful information for educators in all states.http://www.agclassroom.org/il

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From CASE

Are you interested in offering your students powerful and meaningful agriculture lessons aligned to STEM?  Are you seeking a new approach to teaching using inquiry-based, project-based, and student-driven instruction?

The Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) announces the tentative schedule for 2012 CASE Institutes. We are pleased to have several new host sites and we are proud to offer field test sessions for the newAnimal and Plant Biotechnology course.  For more information, please visit the CASE website atwww.case4learning.org.  CASE Institute registration will be available on the CASE website starting January 1, 2012.See Schedule>>

 

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 are available here.