Amaris Ketcham

Livestream and CoP Info, Senate Ag Committee Hearing, March Resources from AITC and more

Blog Post created by Amaris Ketcham on Mar 12, 2012

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education


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 or 859-257-2224.


Communities of Practice



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


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.



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>>



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>>

In February the USDA unveiled, 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



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 for more information.



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.