Amaris Ketcham

Science, Networking, and Legislation

Blog Post created by Amaris Ketcham on Dec 19, 2011

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education


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



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.

back to top Back to top


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>>

back to top Back to top

From FFA Alumni

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. 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.



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...