Amaris Ketcham

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education

Blog Post created by Amaris Ketcham on Mar 5, 2012

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education



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


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



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.



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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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.


From FFA

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



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>>