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Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education

From NAAE

Communities of Practice is OPEN! Thanks for your patience during the upgrade. We have made some awesome improvements, and are now happy to announce you can access the site. Check out the site right now.


IMPORTANT: The site address has changed to to http://communities.naae.org.  Please update your bookmarks accordingly.Help with new features

There have been some great updates to the way Communities of Practice works, and new tools you can use to find information, share resources and collaborate. Visit the Communities of Practice Help & FAQ's section for help documents or to ask a question if you get stuck.


Webinar Tour
We will be holding a webinar tour of the new Communities of Practice site tomorrow, March 27 at 3:30 pm eastern time. You will be able to ask questions and see some of the site's new features. If you would like to attend, please click this link to register.
If you have any questions, email or call Julie Fritsch atjfritsch.naae@uky.edu or 859-257-2224.


Communities of Practice


National Teach Ag Day Collegiate Contest
You celebrated, now enter! Entry deadline is April 2. Click here for contest details and entry form.

From CAST

This issue contains more student/FFA info, and the meat trimmings/pink slime issue somehow combines “Shakespeare, Slant, Slime, and Science.” 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 March 23 edition of CASTFriday Notes.

From FFA

Washington Leadership Conference
This is no ordinary leadership experience. Students will spend a week putting these skills into practice as they make new friends from across the United States and tour our nation's capital. This action-packed week will help students gain self-confidence and leadership skills to take back to their FFA chapters and share with other members. Register>>

Follow State FFA Conventions on the FFA blog>>http://nationalffa.wordpress.com/

 

From CASE

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 case4learning.org for more information.

 

From Hummert

17th Annual Hummert’s Greenhouse Operation and Management  Short Course.
This year our greenhouse tour will focus on tomato grafting and vegetable production.  Hands-on sessions include tomato grafting (Tom Goeke), plant propagation (Dr. Svenson), drip irrigation and misting (Keith Templin), and water analysis (Dr. Millett).  Other topics include greenhouse maintenance, water quality, veggie production for the classroom, plant nutrition, hydroponics, spring crops, poinsettias, IPM, plants & cuttings, substrates, and environmental controls. See the agenda and registration packet.

 

From CSAW

Tools for Supporting a Sustainable Agricultural Workforce

As a coalition, CSAW is focused on creating new and novel partnerships among universities, scientific societies, USDA, and the agribusiness interests they serve to better prepare the next generation of employees. Serving as a clearinghouse of information for these various interests is one valuable method for achieving this goal. In this section, a comprehensive listing of job opportunities  available through nonprofit, government, and industry is brought together for those considering a career in agricultural science. Additionally, links to related organizations and reports  are provided to help facilitate CSAW’s vision with its stakeholders. As development of this effort continues, further resources will be made available.

 

From ACTE


Get a glimpse of the exciting future ahead for career and technical education at CareerTech VISION 2012—the only international summit on excellence in CTE! This dynamic event features a new format that is focused on what you need to succeed in your program, your institution and your community. You can’t afford to miss the crucial networking, vital business and industry connections, and hands-on learning unprecedented in our profession! Learn more! The call for presentations is now open!Submissions will be accepted through March 30.

 

 

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education

From NAAE

National Teach Ag Day Livestream
Join us live on National Teach Ag Day for a celebration from Buena Park High School Agriculture Program in Buena Park Calif. Log on between 10 a.m. and 12p.m. Pacific time to hear National FFA Central Region Vice-President Alicia Hodnik and tour Buena Park’s state of art facilities.  You can also use Twitter, Facebook, and email to ask various panelists about majoring in agricultural education, how to get hired, and what it’s like to teach agriculture.  Log on here. For tips and ideas on how to participate in the Teach Ag Day livestream celebration go to our website.  The livestream webcast is for anyone who is involved in agricultural education or who is thinking about a career as an agriculture teacher.  We want to hear from YOU on Thursday March 15th!

 

Communities of Practice to be CLOSED
Communities of Practice, NAAE’s professional networking site, will be undergoing a major overhaul in the coming weeks.  The site will be upgraded to the newest operating system, with a lot of new features, improvements in the way content is organized, and fixes for bugs in the old system.

 

Site will be closed 3/17-3/25
Because of the huge amount of data that must be migrated to the new system, the CoP site will be closed for the week of March 17-25.  During that time, anyone who tries to access the site will be unable to do so.

 

You don’t have to re-register, but your bookmarks may no longer work
You will not have to re-register or re-create your profile in the new Communities of Practice – you will be able to log in the same way you always have.  However, because we want to fix the issue with CoP that causes it to be blocked at some schools, we will be changing the web address.  Unfortunately, this does mean any bookmarks you’ve created to content in the current Communities of Practice will no longer work. The stuff will still be there, in the same place it was before, but you will have to re-create your bookmark.

 

Help learning to use the new site
The new site is designed to create a better user experience, with a more intuitive interface, so learning how to navigate should be an easy task.  However, we are currently developing tutorial videos and handouts to help you learn about the site’s new features.  These will be available on the new site.  We also will hold an informational webinar about the new site on Tuesday, March 27th at 3:30 pm eastern time.  We will send all current CoP users an email invitation to register for that webinar later this week.

 

The new features will make Communities of Practice an even better tool to help you connect with colleagues and find great resources.  If you have any questions about the upgrade, email or call Julie Fritsch atjfritsch.naae@uky.edu or 859-257-2224.

 

Communities of Practice

 

From CAST

This week we feature Ag Day and the student essay winners plus plenty of current issues such as water crises, child labor laws, and the meat trimmings (pink slime) debate. 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 March 9 edition of CAST Friday Notes.

From FFA

Ryan Best, National FFA President, will testify at the Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing on Risk Management and Commodities for the 2012 Farm Bill on Wednesday March 14th. The hearing will be held in Washington, DC and is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am eastern. Ryan is expected to testify sometime between 3:00-3:30 pm. Ryan along with Bob Stallman, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation and Roger Johnson, President of the National Farmers Union will be the 4th panel of testimony in what will an important part of the process of developing the upcoming Farm Bill legislation. The hearing will be able via live streaming video. To learn more about the hearing and view the hearing go www.ag.senate.gov

 

Washington Leadership Conference (WLC)
Registration is now open. Register today!

 

Convention Housing
Convention housing is now open. Book your rooms today!

 

New Century Farmer
If you’re a college student interested in a career in production agriculture, apply for the New Century Farmer Conference! The deadline is March 15.

 

From AITC

The National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve have embarked on a two-step process to develop the Next Generation Science Standards. See the new standards>>

 

From USDA

Secretary’s Column: A Thank You to American Agriculture
America’s farmers, ranchers and growers are some of our nation’s greatest assets. Not only do we rely on agriculture for our food, feed, fiber, and fuel, our agricultural producers preserve our environment, and help drive our national economy.

As I travel the country, I often ask folks when they last took a moment to thank or appreciate a farmer. The truth is that we owe a debt of gratitude to the hard working men and women who provide us – and much of the world – with a safe, reliable, affordable, and abundant food supply. Read More>>

Start2Farm
In February the USDA unveiled Start2Farm.gov, its latest resource for beginning farmers. The program, which acts as a clearinghouse database of training and assistance programs, is funded through a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) grant by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

The resources that Start2Farm provides are broken down into four types of services:

 

Training, which covers educational resources for successful farming;

 

Financing, which details loan and grant programs available for beginning farmers;

 

Technical Assistance, which identifies technical assistance programs in different areas; and

 

Networking, with information on organizations that exist for farmer-to-farmer support.

 

This useful resource is yet another example of the good things that will continue to exist if the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act, including continued funding for the BFRDP, is passed.  More information about the program can be found at Start2Farm.gov.

 

From CASE

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.  Visit case4learning.org for more information.

 

From ACTE

Contact Congress to Restore Perkins Funding Congress is now starting the budget and appropriations process for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. The House and Senate are both circulating "dear colleague" sign-on letters which ask other Members of Congress to add their signatures to support an investment in Perkins funding. The House letter is led by the Congressional CTE Caucus co-chairs, Reps. Thompson (R-PA) and Langevin (D-RI), and the Senate letter is led by Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT). Once signatures are collected, the letters will be sent to the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittees in the House and Senate.

 

The more signatures the letters have, the more likely that the Appropriations Committee will consider restoring Perkins funds back to FY 2010 levels. Please contact your representatives and senators and ask that they sign the letters to support CTE funding.    

 

Action Needed: 

  • Call your representative and senators and ask to speak to the education staff member; if unavailable, leave a detailed message. You can reach your Members of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
  • When calling your senators, ask that they support funding for CTE by signing the letter being circulated by Sen. Blumenthal.
  • When calling your representative, ask that they support CTE funding by signing the letter being circulated by Reps. Thompson and Langevin.
  • Thank the staff for his or her time and take this opportunity to talk about your CTE program.

 

 

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education

 

From NAAE

The National Teach Ag Campaign is taking part in National Ag Day in Washington, DC this week.  Six agricultural education majors and their three teacher mentors will be teaching agricultural lessons in a Washington, DC public middle school on Thursday, March 8th.

 

National Teach Ag Day Collegiate Contest
Are you a member of a postsecondary agricultural education organization?  Celebrate National Teach Ag day and enter our contest.  You could win money and recognition for your club. Click here for contest details and entry form.

 

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 at jfritsch.naae@uky.edu.

 

2012 National Agriscience Teacher Ambassadors Academy
Over 145 applications were submitted for the 2012 National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy. The selection of 48 Ambassadors from across the nation has been made and will be announced officially on March 9th!

Communities of Practice

 

From CAST

This week we cover the controversial “ag-gag” bill, look at the sugar issue, and link to several Ag Day, FFA, and 4-H sites. 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 March 2 edition of CAST Friday Notes.

From Agrowknowledge

March 8th marks National Agriculture Day. It falls during National Ag Week, March 4-10, 2012, a time when producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America gather to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture.

 

From ACTE

The Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs Act (H.R. 3154), a bill introduced last October by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), co-chair of the Congressional CTE Caucus, was included as part of the Student Success Act. The legislative language from the Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs Act would allow school districts to use Title I ESEA funds to better integrate academics with CTE through coursework and networks of schools. The bill would encourage school districts to link secondary school programs, including both middle and high schools, and align secondary and postsecondary education. Read More>>

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From CASE

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 case4learning.org for more information.

 

From FFA

We were so proud to see our chapters in action during National FFA Week! Here are some highlights from around the country:

 

From USDA

Two and a half years ago, I announced a new initiative here at USDA called Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food. It’s the public face of our commitment to help farmers and ranchers of all sizes take advantage of new opportunities, meet the growing demand for local and regional food and succeed in America’s diverse marketplace. Last week, USDA unveiled new tools showcasing what we’ve accomplished over the last few years as local food sales have expanded as a multi-billion dollar industry. Read More>>

 

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced changes in their loan handbook that will make it easier for the nation’s young farmers to qualify for farm loans.  The new handbook language gives new flexibility to loan officers when deciding if a farmer has sufficient managerial ability to repay a loan, and adds specificity about the types of educational and on-the-job experiences that qualify.  Managerial ability is a determining factor in operating loan applications. The handbook also adds a new example under the farm experience requirement for farm ownership loans, that may help young farmers who were previously denied financing. Read More>>

 

From CTE

CTSO Students Share CTE Projects with Congressmen, Staff on Capitol Hill CTE students from across the nation proudly represented their Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) by presenting projects that show how they are learning relevant, high-demand skills through CTE and CTSOs. The event featured projects from students affiliated with: Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA): Health Science: A student from Charlotte, North Carolina shared her project on the “Zombie Apocalypse,” including a game created on her laptop for a Public Health Emergency Preparedness competition. The booth also featured information on connecting health science and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum. National FFA: Agricultural Science: This display gave information the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE), used to teach high school agricultural science courses. Students from Biotechnology High School in Freehold, New Jersey demonstrated materials and labs used in CASE. Read More>>