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Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education



Join our Teach Ag Day Virtual Celebration!
You’re invited to the first ever National Teach Ag Day virtual celebration, to be streamed live from at Buena Park High School in Buena Park, California.  Hear remarks from National FFA president Ryan Best, tour Buena Park’s agriculture program, and take part in question and answer sessions with panels of agricultural education experts.  Use Facebook or Twitter to submit your questions about majoring in agricultural education, getting a job as an agricultural educator, and what it’s like to teach agriculture.  Our panels will do their best to provide you with answers live during the celebration. The celebration will take place from 10am-12pm PST on Thursday, March 15.  For details, visit


Communities of Practice to be CLOSED
Communities of Practice is scheduled to undergo a major upgrade the week of March 17-25.  The site will be unavailable during these dates, and will reopen on Monday, March 26.  The upgrade will include lots of great new features to make your CoP experience better, easier and more intuitive. The  upgrade will also include fixes for some of the issues users have reported, including blog editing and the site being blocked in certain environments.  If you have any questions about the upgrade, contact Julie Fritsch


Featured NAAE Membership Benefit
U.S. Ag Ed Listserv
: The National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) in cooperation with Purdue University has developed an electronic mail listserv for use by agricultural education teachers, state staff, teacher educators, and others interested in agricultural education. The listserv allows someone to send one message to the listserv and have that message forwarded on to all subscribers to the list. It has capabilities to send text mesAg sages and attached files. See all benefits>>


Communities of Practice



This week we cover a variety of ag symposiums and some career and educational opportunities. Students will find other links to current information, controversies, and entertaining oddities about the varied aspects of agriculture.


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 February 24 edition of CASTFriday Notes.


The president released his budget proposal, which outlines the Administration’s funding priorities for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. This budget will serve as a blueprint for when Congress allocates funding to specific programs through the budget and appropriations process. In his budget, President Obama invests heavily in CTE areas. The overall funding level for Perkins is the same as Congress allocated in FY 2012, $1.1 billion, although this is contingent on proposed changes to the CTE system that will be unveiled at a later date (and that ACTE will weigh in on when appropriate). See the budget proposal>>


Spots are filling up fast at this summer’s CASE Institutes.  Make CASE a part of your agriculture program next fall by attending an institute this summer.  For locations and dates, visit


From FFA

Proficiency and American Degree revision committee announcement
The National FFA Organization is seeking applicants to serve as committee members for the revision of the Proficiency and American FFA Degree applications. If selected, an individual will serve as a committee member for two years beginning spring of 2012.  Committee members will work with the committee superintendent and National FFA staff to coordinate the revision and implementation of the revised Proficiency and American FFA Degree applications. This role will require moderate travel to the National FFA Center and other committee activities. Interested applicants should review the attached revision committee member description for more information. Applicants must submit a resume and letter of intent to Rebecca Carter at or 6060 FFA Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Nomination deadline is Friday, March 23, 2012.For additional information please contact me

National Young Farmers Coalition

Washington State Legalizes Farm Internships
Washington State has become the first state in the country to take legislative steps towards legalizing agricultural internships. The Small Farm Internship Bill completed a very small two year pilot program in just two counties and is now working its way through the house and senate once again as an extended 5 year program in 14 counties. Read More>>


Interested in the potential of urban agriculture? A recent study by the Turner Environmental Law Clinic at the Emory University School of Law offers an in-depth look at urban agriculture programs in various cities around the United States, and is a great template for people hoping to expand urban farming in their area. Read More>>


From US Department of Education

"Together for Tomorrow is aimed at changing the relationship between schools and community partners so everyone feels a shared responsibility to improve low-performing schools," said Joshua DuBois, special assistant to the President and executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Communities interested in details and updates on the Together for Tomorrow challenge should email or visit Press inquiries should be sent to the U.S. Department of Education at For national service inquiries, please contact Sara Albright at
To Read More about Together for Tomorrow>>



New Forest Service Program Encourages Growth of Community Forests and Economies
The Forest Service is now accepting applications for the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program, which encourages the creation of community forests and fosters rural economies. The application deadline is May 15 for submitting applications to the State Forester or equivalent official of the Indian tribe and June 14 for State Forester or equivalent official of the Indian tribe submitting the applications to the Forest Service. Read More>>


USDA’s 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum Available Online
USDA’s 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum speaker presentations will be available online.  The Forum, which occurs annually, was a celebration of USDA’s 150th   anniversary, featuring eight former Secretaries of Agriculture discussing the future of agriculture with Secretary Vilsack. To view a Webcast of the plenary session and access the speaker presentations, please go


From the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation

Nominate a Fellow Ag Educator or Student!
The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, a Federal government agency, is now accepting nominations for four Agriscience Awards and fourLife Sciences Awards to be presented in July 2012 in Washington, D.C.

The Agriscience Awards and Life Sciences Awardscompetitions each have components for a scientist; a high school educator; and two high school students.
Nominations are accepted online only.  Deadlines and websites are as follows:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Judi Shellenberger, Executive Director of the Foundation, at: (315) 258-0090 or


From Agrowknowledge

Internship Openings with Partners of AgCareers


AGCO - AGCO invites you to grow with them. A career at AGCO is an opportunity to join one of the world's largest manufacturers of agricultural equipment. Satisfied and motivated employees are an integral part of their business strategy and they continually strive to be the preferred employer in their industry. Listings>>


ADM - The 28,000 people of Archer Daniels Midland Company turn crops into renewable products that meet the demands of a growing world. At more than 230 processing plants, ADM converts corn, oilseeds, wheat and cocoa into products for food, animal feed, chemical and energy uses. ADM operates the world’s premier crop origination and transportation network, connecting crops and markets in more than 60 countries.Listings>>


Crop Production Services - CPS is one of the largest farm market retailers in North America. With over 150 years in business, they are the most effective and efficient supply chain for rapid development of seed, fertilizer and crop protection products. Make the move to join their more than 8,000 employees across the US and Canada and begin growing your career now.Listings>>


Syngenta - As global demand for food and fuel continues to rise, Syngenta is dedicated to their purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Syngenta is one of the world’s leading companies with more than 26,000 employees in over 90 countries. Syngenta works in a collaborative and inspiring environment where personal contribution is rewarded and growth and development are at the heart of their culture. Listings>>


Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc - Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., a DuPont company, is the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics to farmers worldwide. With headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer develops, produces and markets a full line of top-quality seeds and forage and grain additives and provides services to customers in nearly 70 countries. Listings>>


Agrium Wholesale - Agrium is driven by growth, whether it is to improve the performance of crops that feed the world responsibly, grow their business, their market share or their earnings. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Agrium is one of the world's largest nutrient and fertilizer producers. They encourage their employees to grow within their roles as they continue to pursue new ways to make Agrium a great place to work.Listings>>


Canadian Seed Trade Association - Headquartered in the nation's capital, the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) represents the interests of 130 corporate members engaged in all aspects of seed research, production and marketing, both domestically and internationally. CSTA's mission is to to foster seed industry innovation and trade. Listings>> - is dedicated to bringing together employers and job seekers through a targeted, online job board, with more than 3,000 new jobs posted each month from agribusiness companies across the world. More than 9,000 applicants apply to jobs each month. The site services companies throughout North America and Australia in all sectors of the industry. Listings>>



Monday Morning Monitor

Posted by Amaris Ketcham Feb 20, 2012

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education


This week we cover more ag happenings in Washington, a new World Food Prize award, and an update on GE food. Students will find many other links in this edition with current information, educational opportunities, and entertaining oddities about the varied aspects of agriculture.


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 February 17 edition of CASTFriday Notes.


Teach Ag
The National Teach Ag Campaign wishes everyone a Happy FFA Week! Agriculture Teachers are the power behind the agriculture program. Remember to take a moment this week and thank an agriculture teacher for all they do to provide opportunities for students and impact the community in a positive way. Being an agriculture teacher is a great career choice. To find out more check out the Teach Ag website.


Teachers Turn the Key
Been teaching ag less than five years? Apply for ourTeachers Turn the Key scholarship. This scholarship allows early career agricultural educators to attend the annual NAAE convention, giving them an opportunity to become involved with their professional association on a national level. TTTK participants take part in special programming geared toward agricultural educators in the early stages of their careers.

Communities of Practice


From FFA

The U.S. Department of Education has launched a National Education Startup Challenge
Are your students innovative? Are they problem solvers looking for a challenge? If yes, then the U.S. Department of Education has a project right up their alley: the National Education Startup Challenge. Students can submit a business plan and a video pitch for a for-profit or non-profit startup that includes an innovative strategy, product or service designed to address one of these four challenge topics: Middle Grades Matter; Skills, Skills, Skills; Education Pays; and Finish Faster. For information, visit Hurry! The challenge ends on May 1, 2012.


From USDA Helps Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Get Started
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Library, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, has created, an online database connecting beginning farmers and ranchers with available programs and resources. Read More>>


How is your Community Moving? Send us a Video!
First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Communities on the Move Video challenge and invited faith-based, community, and other non-profit organizations to create inspiring videos about their efforts to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. The challenge will recognize community efforts that promote healthy lifestyles for kids by encouraging nutritious eating through USDA’s MyPlate icon, increasing physical activity, and/or ensuring access to healthy, affordable foods. Read More>>



Registration is open for this summer’s CASE Institutes.  To obtain the CASE curriculum, teachers are required to attend an 80-hour concurrent session CASE Institute.  This professional development experience equips teachers to use the curriculum to its fullest potential by preparing them to lead students through a series of meaningful, sequential activities, problems and projects couched in agriculture subject matter.  For more information, and to register for an institute,



"Changing the way we eat" means a lot more than simply cutting fat and calories from our diets.

Sixteen speakers and approximately 360 people came together at the Times Center for TEDxManhattan to explore some of the issues affecting the food we eat and innovative approaches to addressing those challenges. In addition, 60 registered viewing parties took place around the world, with the largest having over 450 people. Read More>>



Monday Morning Monitor

Posted by Amaris Ketcham Feb 13, 2012

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education


From FFA

2012 National FFA Convention
Chapter housing is now open.  Please go to for more details.


Celebrate FFA Week – 3 Word Video Challenge
FFA Week is February 18-25, 2012.

  • Participate in the 3 Word Video Challenge:Attention all creative FFA Alumni members: the National FFA Alumni Association has issued a challenge… connect with your FFA Chapter by creating a 3-word Video of why you do what you do!
    Tell your story about why you’re an FFA Alumni member and choose to support FFA/agriculture education in a 10-15 second video showing three (3!) words.  Top Submissions shown on National FFA Alumni website and Facebook. Step 1: Clickhere for examples.  Step 2: Upload your video to YouTube by March 2, 2012. Step 3: Send the YouTube video link to
  • Learn more about FFA Week & obtain resources such as media tools, logos and more!
  • Purchase FFA Week supplies


National FFA Alumni Webinar Series
Over the past year the National FFA Alumni has been offering webinars on a variety of topics to inform and educate local and state FFA Alumni.  Each session is approximately one hour long and features guest speakers on the specified topics and resources to be downloaded.  You can view recordings of past webinars, download resources, and register for future webinars by visiting and clicking on the “webinars” from the navigation menu.


Register NOW for the next Webinar:


February 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm Eastern
Topic: Oregon FFA Alumni Development Day (ADD) Presentation
The Oregon FFA Alumni Council has found success in presenting ADD to new affiliates and communities interested in starting a local FFA Alumni.  Learn what information they share and how they tailor these presentations based on the needs of the affiliate.  See what ideas you can borrow to help start or strengthen your affiliate or the affiliates within your state!


Interdisciplinary Discovery in Iowa
Barbara Lemmer teaches 225 students at Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa. Her program is so popular there is a list of more than 100 students waiting to enroll in her courses. What's her secret? “I strive to encourage students to exercise innovation and creativity in making informed decisions,” said Lemmer.  “I balance both academic and workplace skills with leadership skills to help students achieve their goals and value their health, socials skills, and self worth.”Read more about this 2011 Outstanding Teacher Award Winner>>


Find out how to apply for an Outstanding Teacher Award>>


Teach Ag
Are you looking for a way to celebrate National Teach Ag Day on March 15th?  Check out the Teach Ag websitefor countless ideas.


National Agriscience Teacher of the Year
Do you inspire and enlighten your students through engaging and interactive lessons in the science of agriculture? Apply for this award.


Communities of Practice



This week we cover ag happenings in Washington, new research papers, and we’ve added updated lists of ag Apps due to the response to last week’s digital topic. Students will find many other links in this edition with current information, educational opportunities, and entertaining oddities about the varied aspects of agriculture.  


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 February 10 edition of CASTFriday Notes.



Celebrating Lincoln’s Birthday and USDA’s Birthday

On February 12, President Lincoln’s birthday, let’s take a moment to appreciate the many impressive accomplishments that our Nation’s 16th President achieved during his four years in office.  Many of those accomplishments have a direct tie-in to the success of American agriculture. Lincoln’s birthday is especially important to us because 2012 is the 150th anniversary of USDA. Read More>>


From CTE

Last month the House Education and the Workforce Committee released discussion drafts of two ESEA reauthorization bills. On February 10th, Committee Chairman John Kline (MN) formally introduced the bills, the Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act.


In the Student Success Act, grantees’ local plans will have to include a description of how they use funds to support programs that coordinate and integrate “career and technical education aligned with state technical standards that promote skills attainment important to in-demand occupations or industries in the state and the state’s academic standards and work based learning opportunities that provide students in-depth interaction with industry professionals.”


The Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act allows locals to use funds professional development for teachers and school leaders that is “evidence-based, job embedded, and continuous, such as professional development on integrated, interdisciplinary, and project based teaching strategies, including for career and technical education teachers.”Read More>>



Register to attend a CASE Institute this summer.  CASE is an instructional system that provides intense teacher professional development and curriculum that is changing the culture of agriculture programs.  Learn more about CASE and register for an institute


From National Young Farmers

Americorps Opportunity Perfect for Graduating Students
FoodCorps, a national organization that works to address food issues in underserved communities, has called for applications for its second annual class of service members. The organization will be hiring up to one hundred people for positions in 12 states across the country. The 2012 corps will work full-time for one year in school food systems, expanding hands-on nutrition education programs, building and tending school gardens, and sourcing fresh, healthy, local food for school cafeterias. Read More>>


Grants for College Students or Organic Farming
Raising Organic Family Farms recently announced a second round of grants and scholarships for organic farmers and agriculture students.  The application period began on January 16th and will run until March 16th.  In total, ROFF will be giving away $25,000 this winter in small grants and scholarships to selected organic farmers and students. Read More>>





Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education


CTE Month Challenge
ACTE has partnered up with KP Education Systems, leaders in mobile education technology, to create a new and exciting way to engage in online learning about ACTE and CTE.  Learn through this fun and interactive tool while you compete with other educators around the country and between ACTE Regions. Participate in the challenge here.

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From FFA

2012 National FFA Convention
Chapter housing is now open.  Please go to for more details.

Winter 2011-2012 New Horizons
The official member publication for the National FFA Organization, FFA New Horizons highlights FFA member achievements, promotes careers in the agriculture industry, prepares students for college, offers life lessons and more.  Read about ag ed in "A Mentor, a Teacher, a Friend" or share a guide to planning after high school, or meet a powdered champion in Minnesota.


NAAE Student Membership
Student membership in NAAE is the start of a professional relationship that will provide opportunities for your students now and in their future careers as agricultural educators. Please remind your students that active, active life, and student members are provided with a $100,000 professional liability insurance policy as part of their dues package. Given that student dues are only $10.00 per year, there’s not a better deal in town. Active NAAE members willingly subsidize the cost of student membership--it is the best investment that can be made in ensuring the future of agricultural education. Read More>>

Delmar Cengage Learning Upper Division Scholarship
This scholarship program is designed to lessen the financial burden on college students who are completing their student teaching in agricultural education. Only individuals that are planning to do their student teaching in the 2012-2013 school year and are NAAE Student Members in the 2011-2012 school year are eligible to apply. Find a copy of the application online here. Applications are due electronically to the NAAE office by May 15, 2012.  Please note of the new application submission guidelines.

Interested in more NAAE awards?
We have awards for every stage of your career – from pre-service student scholarships to lifetime achievement awards. Applications are now available here.

CHS Inc. Awards National Teach Ag Campaign Largest Single Financial Contribution

Inver Grove Heights, Minn.-headquartered CHS Inc. (Nasdaq: CHSCP), the nation's leading farmer-owned cooperative, has made the largest financial contribution ever to a special campaign focused on raising awareness for the need for more agricultural teachers in U.S. high schools. As a part of the CHS stewardship focus, the CHS Foundation is committed to investing in the future of rural America, agriculture and cooperative business through education and leadership development. Read more>>

Teach Ag Day Grants
The National Teach Ag Campaign would like to again offer Teach Ag Day related grants to help offset the costs associated with spreading the Teach Ag message. All Teach Ag related applications will be considered; however, click here for a listing of the priority areas and to obtain the grant application.  The deadline for Teach Ag grant submissions is 4pm CST on Friday, February 10, 2012. Contact Ellen Thompson, National Teach Ag Campaign Coordinator with any questions. National Teach Ag Day will take place on March 15, 2012.

Communities of Practice



It seems there is now an App for everything except Time Travel, but I’m sure someone is working on it. This week’s lead story examines the way the agriculture community has embraced smart phones and Apps. Students will find many other links in this edition with current information, educational opportunities, and entertaining oddities about the varied aspects of agriculture.   

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 February 3 edition of CASTFriday Notes.



More Kids in the Wood
“The Forest Service  ‘More Kids in the Woods’ grant  encourages children to learn more about the natural world and to experience outdoor activities along with exposing them to a variety of career paths in natural resources,” said Natural Resources Manager Carl Petrick of the National Forests in Florida. Thinking of applying for a grant? See past winning proposals.

New Plant Hardiness Zone Map
With spring not that far away, the garden catalogues are starting to fly through the mail, but the “must read” of the moment for America’s estimated 80 million gardeners is the new Plant Hardiness Zone Map rolled out by USDA last week at


Just in time for Valentine's Day. Do you know what goes into creating chocolate? Cocoa beans from a tree go through an extensive process before becoming delicious chocolate that we can enjoy in a heart-shaped box! Share the video with your kids.

Got Dirt? is a program designed to assist with the implementation of school, community, and child care gardens. The garden toolkit provides simple, step-by-step plans for starting a garden. Tips from garden experts and garden sucess stories from around Wisconsin (project home state) are also included. Garden training workshops are also available for people living in Wisconsin. Check out the program.

History, the Dollar, and Agriculture come together in this lesson from Ag in Montana Schools. Read the lesson plan here and think about adapting it for your classroom.


Register now for CASE Institutes this summer.  Institutes will be taking place at 15 sites spread across the United States, so finding one that fits your schedule and travel budget should be possible.  Complete an institute in Introduction to Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, Principles of Agricultural Science-Animal and Principles of Agricultural Science – Plant.  You can also apply to field test the new Animal and Plant Biotechnology curriculum.  Visit for more information.


Grant for Creative, Committed Youth
Whether you are passionate about protecting the planet, providing meals to those who need it, or giving kids just like you the resources they need to star in their own play, be an athlete or an artist, you can be a Friend for Change!  Whatever your interests, a Disney Friends for Change Grant can help you make a difference for people, communities and the planet.Applications due February 29th. Apply for the grant.



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