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Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education

From NAAE

Proposed Rule about Child Labor in Agriculture WITHDRAWN
The U.S. Department of Labor has issued the following statement regarding the withdrawal of a proposed rule dealing with children who work in agricultural vocations:
?The Obama Administration is firmly committed to promoting family farmers and respecting the rural way of life, especially the role that parents and other family members play in passing those traditions down through the generations. The Obama Administration is also deeply committed to listening and responding to what Americans across the country have to say about proposed rules and regulations. As a result, the Department of Labor is announcing today the withdrawal of the proposed rule dealing with children under the age of 16 who work in agricultural vocations. 


The decision to withdraw this rule ? including provisions to define the ?parental exemption? ? was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms.  To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama Administration.  Instead, the Departments of Labor and Agriculture will work with rural stakeholders ? such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, the Future Farmers of America, and 4-H ? to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices.?


This is a huge victory for American production agriculture ... and for school-based agricultural education ... and we extend our thanks to all who made the choice to get involved in preventing this proposed rulemaking from being implemented.  Good work Team Ag Ed!


Present a Workshop at the 2012 NAAE Convention in Atlanta. NAAE is accepting proposals for workshops to be presented at the 2012 NAAE Convention in Atlanta, Georgia November 27-December 1, 2012, relating to topics appropriate for middle, secondary and post-secondary educators of agricultural education. Send a proposal to to Alissa Smith at asmith.naae@uky.edu by May 15th to be considered. Find out which workshop subjects are requested by NAAE members>>


Register now to qualify for the early bird rate!
Early bird registration is open for the NAAE Convention.  Register before July 13 for a significant savings over the regular registration rate.  Visithttp://www.naae.org/convention/registration/ for details and to register.
Book now at the NAAE Convention hotel, the Hilton Atlanta for a special rate.  NAAE has also worked with Delta Airlines so contention attendees can receive a 5% discount on flights.  See details athttp://www.naae.org/convention/housing/


Apply to be a Teach Ag Ambassador!
If you are a college student majoring in agricultural education AND you are passionate about spreading the Teach Ag message to others apply today to become a Teach Ag Ambassador during the 2012 National FFA Convention. Application deadline is May 14th! The position description and details can be found at http://communities.naae.org/message/12470.


Apply for a NAAE Award
NAAE award applications are now available. We have awards for every stage of your career?from pre-service student scholarships to lifetime achievement awards.  Applications are available here.


Communities of Practice Video Guide
To enhance your CoP experience, we've created a series of short videos demonstrating important features. In "Setting Your Profile and Preferences," learn different ways to find, filter and organize information on NAAE's Communities of Practice. We will cover predictive searching, different ways to filter results, bookmarking and navigating through communities.Watch the video>>


Communities of Practice


From CAST

The Labor Dept. cancels plans to tighten child labor laws, and several other key news headlines compete with a menagerie of unusual animal stories at the bottom of page one. 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 most recent edition of CASTFriday Notes.


CASE

It?s time to get off the fence and commit to changing your teaching style and agriculture program for good.  Registration for many of this summer?s CASE institutes will close by the end of the week.  Don?t let this opportunity pass you by. Many Institutes still have a few spots left. Visit http://case4learning.org/ to see availability and book your spot.


Two scholarships are available for female agricultural education majors to attend a CASE institute this summer and become certified to teach the CASE curriculum. Read eligibility requirements>>


If you are interested in field testing the CASE Animal and Plant Biotechnology (APB) curriculum in your program next school year, here is an opportunity to get a partial scholarship to the APB institute that will be happening in Ankeny, Iowa, June 11-22, 2012. Read More>>


In addition, Mosaic is sponsoring CASE Institute Scholarships for beginning and experienced teachers in Florida and Louisiana.


From FFA

National Education Startup Challenge
NCC-CTSO members, the due date to submit applications for the National Education Startup Challenge is drawing near. Applications are due onTuesday, May 1, 2012, by 5 p.m.  Thank you all for your help in the development and promotion of this Challenge and your assistance with the recruitment of judges.


Today is the last day to Register early and Save $50 for July?s FFA Alumni Development Conference
For the first time, registrants to the top learning and networking experience for National FFA Alumni members can save by securing their spot early.


Registration is OPEN for the 2012 FFA Alumni Development Conference, held July 11-15 in Bozeman, Mont., and conference participants who sign up by April 30 can save $50. Registration starts at $400 and includes hotel accommodations, workshops, a conference shirt, most meals and transportation to/from local agricultural and cultural tours. Why Should you Attend? What?s the Agenda? What do Participants Need to Know? Find all this and more on the FFA Alumni website, Register Today!


The National Collegiate Ag Ambassador program is designed for college students to be advocates for our industry.  We look for college students who have a desire to promote agriculture and help others better understand the value and importance of the industry to a variety of audiences. Twenty ambassadors from across the US are chosen each year, and given the challenge to help as many people as possible better understand how the agriculture industry directly affects their life.  Applicants must meet the following requirements to apply for the program:

  • must have completed, or be completing their freshman year of college when applying
  • must be pursuing an agriculture related degree
  • must be a full time student the entire year they are serving as an ambassador (2012-13 school year)
  • must have a genuine desire to promote agriculture
Scholarship money ($1,000) and a digital camera are provided to all selected ambassadors, as well as the use of an iPad and LCD projector. Ambassadors go through two intense trainings in August and December to learn about the issues currently facing the industry, as well as proper presentation skills. Below are four important links regarding the application process; I highly recommend students review the FAQ and screen shots link before beginning the application so they fully understand the program and what will be asked of them during the application process.  

All applications must be submitted by 5 PM EST on June 1, 2012.  If you have any questions at all regarding the program and/or application, please do not hesitate to contact me.  If you have any questions, please contact Lindsey Calhoun at lcalhoun@ffa.org.


New! Living to Serve: Environmental Grant Program
The National FFA Organization is pleased to announce the availability of grant funds for FFA chapters to develop service-learning projects that impact environmental issues in their community. The Living to Serve: Environmental Grants are provided through funding from CSX as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.


Chapters may apply for up to $2,000 to support year-long service-learning projects focused on developing and implementing projects that address local environmental needs. Service-learning is a method of teaching and learning that challenges students to identify, research, develop, and implement solutions to needs in their school or community as part of their curriculum.Project topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Wildlife conservation
  • Land preservation
  • Environmental education and stewardship
  • Recycling and composting

Read More>>


From USDA

Take Your Agribusiness Course or SAE to the Next Level
USDA is continuing to conduct a series of small business conferences to facilitate rural economic growth and increase small business contracting participation by enhancing the competitive posture of small farmer-owned cooperatives and small rural businesses to compete successfully for government and commercial contracts, both prime and subcontracts. Read More>>


Healthy Gardens, Healthy Youth School Pilot Program: Training Teachers Coast to Coast
While adding a gardening program to the elementary school classroom, the teacher introduces math concepts ? deftly integrating her classroom lessons into a real world experience. Soon the students will be planting this garden for real ? just as they have planned it ? as will 4,000 other youth in 57 schools in Iowa, Arkansas, New York and Washington participating in Healthy Gardens, Healthy Youth (HGHY), a project of the People?s Garden School Pilot Project. Read more »


USDA released a new farm to school grant program designed to help give children a sense of where their food comes from and increase the availability of local foods in schools. Joined by students at Southern High School in Harwood, MD, as well as school and elected officials, Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan made the announcement in an on-campus greenhouse. Read more »


From ACTE

Register today for the most exciting and talked-about CTE event of the year and experience excellence for your classroom, your program and your own professional development. At CareerTech VISION 2012, you will connect, interact, network and achieve with thousands of your fellow CTE professionals from across the country and around the world. Catch the VISION?because together, we make it work!
  • Idea Labs
    Kick-start your thinking with these 60-minute sessions exploring new models, curricula and partnerships that produce proven results!
  • Deep Dive Sessions
    Dig deeper with these two-hour sessions inspiring action on the fresh ideas and practices that target the goals of your strategic-improvement plans!
  • Comprehensive Tracks
    Focus on comprehensive tracks of proven, successful models of education systems and processes centered on CTE?including ICLE Model Schools and SREB High Schools/Tech Centers That Work!
  • Key Partnerships
    Enrich your professional development with a wider scope of experts partnering with ACTE, including NOCTI, NC3, CompTIA, IVETA, NAAE, ACTER, Cengage Learning ... and many more!
  • Education Focus Areas
    Zero in on your specific needs with these focus areas:
    • Certification/Assessment
    • Student Engagement and Success
    • Teacher Success
    • Program Models
    • Administrative/Operational Success
    • Advocacy/Partnerships
    • Business and Industry Training
  • CareerTech Expo
    Leverage the power of choice with over 200 companies showcasing the latest products, processes and services for the CTE professional?and, before you decide, experience it all for yourself through hands-on workshops!

 

 

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education

From US Department of Education

The U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture have teamed up to enhance agricultural education and related programs that promote postsecondary and career pathways, including teaching, according to an interagency agreement to advance agricultural education. U.S. Education and Agriculture Secretaries Arne Duncan and Tom Vilsack announced the agreement today during a White House Rural Council meeting with local educators at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Read More>>


Improving Rural Economies & Transforming CTE
Duncan’s second stop of the day was at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa, where he joined Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, to release the Obama Administration’s blueprint for transforming Career and Technical Education (CTE).
“It’s no surprise that rigorous, relevant, and results-driven CTE programs are vital to preparing students to succeed in the global economy of the 21st century,” Duncan said at the event. Read More>>


From NAAE

Apply for an Award
NAAE award applications are now available. We have awards for every stage of your career–from pre-service student scholarships to lifetime achievement awards. Applications are available here.


Teach Ag Ambassadors Needed
Are you passionate about agricultural education? Are you a college student majoring in agricultural education? Do you want to encourage others to consider a career as an agriculture teacher during the National FFA Convention? Apply today to be a 2012 National Teach Ag Campaign Ambassador! Read More>>


Outstanding Agricultural Educators Honored
Three outstanding agricultural educators were recognized on behalf of the National Teach Ag Campaign and the National FFA Organization on Thursday, March 29 at the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences conference in Atlanta, Ga. The awardees were Dr. Alvin Larke, Jr, Dr. Antoine Alston and Dr. Dexter Wakefield. The award recipients combined have over 80 years of service to agricultural education and agriculture teachers. The Outstanding Contribution award is designed to highlight individuals who have had a tremendous impact on the agricultural education profession through service, mentorship, and leadership. Read More>>


Communities of Practice Video Guide
We've recently made some changes to the site that are designed to make things easier to find and post, and help agricultural educators connect with one another. To enhance your CoP experience, we've created a series of short videos demonstrating important features. In "Setting Your Profile and Preferences," we cover how to use the CoP system to make yourself more discoverable to other users. Watch the video>>


Communities of Practice


From CAST

Links to a blog about FFA and a blog about legendary cows—and a present day cowboy bounty hunter. 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 most recent edition of CASTFriday Notes.


From USDA

Extending the Public Comment Period for USDA’s Proposal to Modernize Poultry Slaughter
USDA announced an extension to the public comment period for a proposed rule that would modernize the poultry slaughter inspection system.  This new plan would provide us with the opportunity to protect consumers from unsafe food more effectively.  We recognize that this proposal would represent a significant change from the current system and has sparked a debate on how poultry is inspected.  We also value the different opinions being expressed about the proposal and have extended the public comment period to ensure all sides are presented in this debate. Read More>>


Innovative Urban Ag Ed Truck Farm
DC Truck Farm
is a collaborative effort between D.C. Central Kitchen (DCCK) and USDA’s People’s Garden Initiative. Now in its second year, this garden on wheels travels around the Nation’s Capital teaching urban youth about agriculture, soil science and nutrition education. It got moving thanks to the support of many partners in the DC metropolitan area. Read More>>


From FFA

New! Living to Serve: Environmental Grant Program
The National FFA Organization is pleased to announce the availability of grant funds for FFA chapters to develop service-learning projects that impact environmental issues in their community. The Living to Serve: Environmental Grants are provided through funding from CSX as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
Chapters may apply for up to $2,000 to support year-long service-learning projects focused on developing and implementing projects that address local environmental needs. Service-learning is a method of teaching and learning that challenges students to identify, research, develop, and implement solutions to needs in their school or community as part of their curriculum.Project topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Wildlife conservation
  • Land preservation
  • Environmental education and stewardship
  • Recycling and composting

Read More>>


National FFA Band, Chorus and Talent
We are now accepting applications for national band, chorus and talent members. Apply by July 2, 2012.


National FFA Foundation Leadership Challenge
Each new individual gift to the foundation will be matched dollar for dollar by Leadership Challenge funds up to $100,000. Donate today.


From ACTE

Administration Proposes Major Changes to Perkins
On April 19, at an event at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and OVAE Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier released the Administration's Blueprint for the next Perkins reauthorization. The Blueprint is titled "Investing in America's Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education." Asummary of the document and a press release can also be found on the Department's Web site.
The Blueprint includes four key principles:
  • effective ALIGNMENT between CTE and labor market needs to equip students with 21st-century skills and prepare them for in-demand occupations in high-growth industry sectors
  • strong COLLABORATION among secondary and postsecondary institutions, employers, and industry partners to improve the quality of CTE programs
  • meaningful ACCOUNTABILITY for improving academic outcomes and building technical and employability skills in CTE programs, based upon common definitions and clear metrics for performance
  • increased emphasis on INNOVATION supported by systemic reform of state polices and practices to support CTE implementation of effective practices at the local level


ACTE agrees with these principles and wants to strengthen the quality of the entire CTE system, but has series concerns about the details of the proposal and the specific changes proposed by the Department. Some of these concerns relate to competitive funding, mandatory consortia, mechanisms that will redirect state funding to federal innovation grants, private sector matching requirements, and only funding specific program areas identified as high-growth at the state level.

 

You can read ACTE's statement on the proposalhere and view our own Perkins reauthorization principles here. We will be preparing more in-depth analysis over the next few days.

New Videos from ACTE 2011 and NPS 2012
Miss ACTE 2011 or NPS 2012? The NRCCTE has now made available closed-captioned videos from its presentations at both events. Presentations address the Center’s work on using labor market information to improve programs of study/career pathways, curriculum integration, professional development on data-driven program improvement and supporting alternatively certified new teachers, and a new typology for classifying CTE students.

Programs of Study: The State of the Art
James Stone, NRCCTE
Watch the video (WMV, closed captioned)

 

Maximizing the Academics in CTE: The NRCCTE Curriculum Integration Studies
Travis Park, Cornell University, and Donna Pearson, NRCCTE
Watch the video (WMV, closed captioned)

 

CTE's Focus on Continuous Improvement through Data-Driven Improvement of Instruction
Sandra Pritz, NOCTI
Watch the video (WMV, closed captioned)

 

Transition to CTE Teaching: Supporting Beginning Teachers Entering Through Alternative Routes
Gene Bottoms and Heather Sass, SREB
Watch the video (WMV, closed captioned)

 

Using a New CTE Typology to Measure Student Performance and Progress: A Modification of the Participant and Concentrator Dichotomy for Improving CTE Accountability and Evaluation
Pradeep Kotamraju and Oscar Aliaga, NRCCTE
Watch the video (WMV, closed captioned)

 

Improving Secondary CTE Through Professional Development: Alternative Certification and the Use of Technical Assessment Data
John C. Foster, NOCTI
Watch the video (WMV, closed captioned)

 

CASE

Two scholarships are available for female agricultural education majors to attend a CASE institute this summer and become certified to teach the CASE curriculum. Read eligibility requirements>>

If you are interested in field testing the CASE Animal and Plant Biotechnology (APB) curriculum in your program next school year, here is an opportunity to get a partial scholarship to the APB institute that will be happening in Ankeny, Iowa, June 11-22, 2012. Read More>>

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education

From CAST

A college student YouTube hit about Farmer Power and Agvocacy; a blog link for a look at why Google and Apple are interested in livestock manure; and animal antibiotics a top story. 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 most recent edition of CASTFriday Notes.

From NAAE

Present a Workshop at the 2012 NAAE Convention in Atlanta.
NAAE is accepting proposals for workshops to be presented at the 2012 NAAE Convention in Atlanta, Georgia November 27-December 1, 2012, relating to topics appropriate for middle, secondary and post-secondary educators of agricultural education. Send a proposal to to Alissa Smith at asmith.naae@uky.edu by May 15th to be considered. Find out which workshop subjects are requested by NAAE members>>


Register now to qualify for the early bird rate!
Early Bird Registration for the 2012 NAAE Convention is $325 per person and is open until July 13, 2012. NAAE members will have full access to the ACTE CareerTech VISION 2012 when registering at the NAAE member rate of $325. See details>>


Apply to be a Teach Ag Ambassador!
If you are a college student majoring in agricultural education AND you are passionate about spreading the Teach Ag message to others apply today to become a Teach Ag Ambassador during the 2012 National FFA Convention. Application deadline is May 14th! The position description and details can be found at http://communities.naae.org/message/12470.


Monsanto Mom of the Year Contest
Now through April 23rd, Monsanto is offering farm mom?s across the Nation an opportunity to win up to $10,000.
The deadline of April 23rd to nominate the 2012 America?s Farmers Mom of the Year is quickly approaching. Has your life been touched by an amazing farm mom?


If so, I encourage you to visit www.AmericasFarmers.com today to nominate her for America?s Farmers Mom of the Year by sharing how she contributes to her family, farm, community and the agricultural industry.


Five regional winners will be selected to win $5,000 each. Regional winners will be featured on AmericasFarmers.com May 1 ? 12, and online voting will determine the national winner and recipient of an additional $5,000, to be announced on Mother?s Day.


Please visit www.AmericasFarmers.com to see the complete rules and eligibility requirements and to read about last year?s winners. Thank you for your commitment to agriculture and for promoting philanthropy in your community. Good luck to you and your favorite farm mom!


NAAE Is Hiring
NAAE is hiring a meeting planner and grassroots advocacy coordinator for this 501(c)(3) not-for-profit education-related professional membership association, which serves school-based agricultural education professionals throughout the United States and its territories. Read More>>


Apply for a NAAE Award
NAAE award applications are now available. We have awards for every stage of your career?from pre-service student scholarships to lifetime achievement awards.  Applications are available here.


Communities of Practice


From FFA

Promote Agriculture; Receive Scholarship Money; Make a Difference!Do you have students who enjoy spreading the agriculture story?  Have them apply to be a National Collegiate Ag Ambassador! 


As an ambassador, they will be able to promote agriculture to the community and help them understand how the industry plays a vital role in their daily life.  Ambassadors will also learn about current ag issues from top industry leaders from across the nation. 


Best of all, for their work as an ambassador, they will be awarded scholarship money and a digital camera to record their presentations!  Applications for the ambassador program are available at www.ffa.org/collegiate and must be submitted by 5 PM EST on June 1, 2012.  If you have any questions, please contact Lindsey Calhoun at lcalhoun@ffa.org.  The ambassador program is sponsored by BASF ? The Chemical Company, Syngenta, CSX, and the National Pork Board as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.


Living to Serve: Environmental Grant Program
The National FFA Organization is pleased to announce the availability of grant funds for FFA chapters to develop service-learning projects that impact environmental issues in their community. The Living to Serve: Environmental Grants are provided through funding from CSX as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
Chapters may apply for up to $2,000 to support year-long service-learning projects focused on developing and implementing projects that address local environmental needs. Service-learning is a method of teaching and learning that challenges students to identify, research, develop, and implement solutions to needs in their school or community as part of their curriculum.Project topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Wildlife conservation
  • Land preservation
  • Environmental education and stewardship
  • Recycling and composting
Read More>>

From USAGED

New Site Updates Include:
  • Lesson Plans - The following pages have been updated with lesson plans: agriculture business, economics & finance, agriscience, environmental & natural resources, horticulture/plant science, landscaping & turfgrass management and small animal care & managment. 
  • Useful Docs - A new officer application was added to this page.  Read More>>

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From USDA

Agriculture and History
The USDA is celebrating its 150th anniversary. Combine a love of agriculture and history (with potential lesson plans!) by signing up for their e-mail factoids here.

Biofuel Reducing Oil Reliance
Strengthening the domestic biofuels industry has been another critical component of this overall strategy. And today, U.S. biofuel production is at its highest level in history. In fact, average monthly production increased more than 40 percent between 2008 and 2011. That means more jobs ? especially in rural America ? and greater energy security. Read more »

Working with Nebraska Colleges to Deliver Jobs
Local colleges and USDA Rural Development are combining resources to improve the availability of higher education in rural areas. This increased emphasis on continuing education will bring a stronger work force to Nebraska. Read more »

Ag Ed Student Blog
In his first of many spars with invasive species, Ben conducted a science fair project on giant reed (Arundo donax), an invasive plant that is damaging riparian ecosystems in his home state of Texas. But Ben didn?t stop there. Combining his love for filmmaking with his passion for science, Ben created a blog entitled ?Commander Ben-The Invasive Hunter,? where he records his exploits and posts videos and other content to teach kids about the fight against invasive species. Read more »

From CASE

Scholarships
Two scholarships are available for female agricultural education majors to attend a CASE institute this summer and become certified to teach the CASE curriculum. Read eligibility requirements>>

If you are interested in field testing the CASE Animal and Plant Biotechnology (APB) curriculum in your program next school year, here is an opportunity to get a partial scholarship to the APB institute that will be happening in Ankeny, Iowa, June 11-22, 2012. Read More>>

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Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education

From NAAE

NAAE Is Hiring
NAAE is hiring meeting a planner and grassroots advocacy coordinator for this 501(c)(3) not-for-profit education-related professional membership association, which serves school-based agricultural education professionals throughout the United States and its territories. Read More>>


CASE Scholarships
Two scholarships are available for female agricultural education majors to attend a CASE institute this summer and become certified to teach the CASE curriculum. Read eligibility requirements>>


If you are interested in field testing the CASE Animal and Plant Biotechnology (APB) curriculum in your program next school year, here is an opportunity to get a partial scholarship to the APB institute that will be happening in Ankeny, Iowa, June 11-22, 2012. Read More>>


Communities of Practice


From CAST

Flying trucks, sugar wars, and ball park nachos.  Check the blog link for a list of Top Ten Food and Waterborne Outbreaks and a memory of hot-and-cold running cow pies while playing in farm creeks. 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 most recent edition of CASTFriday Notes.


From CTE

Dear Colleague Letters Call for Investment in Perkins
Members of both the House and Senate have signed on to “Dear Colleague” letters, asking the appropriators in their respective chambers to invest in Perkins during the FY13 appropriations process. The Senate letter, authored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT), was signed by 22 Senators. In the House, the letter was authored by Reps. Glenn Thompson (PA) and Jim Langevin (RI), and was signed by a total of 65 Representatives. Read More>>


From AITC


From ACTE

Cliff Weiss Memorial Essay Contest Winners
ACTE announces the winners of the Cliff Weiss Memorial Essay Contest, which includes students from Missouri, Texas and Washington, D.C., at the secondary and postsecondary levels. The 2012 winners are:
  • Naim Owens, of Washington, D.C., for secondary student essay category
  • Colissa Menke, of Warrensburg, Missouri, for postsecondary student essay category
  • Christie Shokler, of Frisco, Texas, for multimedia category

Read more in the press release.


FFAACTE/NCLA Best Practices Conference 
The tentative agenda and call for proposals are now open for the 2012 ACTE/NCLA Best Practices and Innovations in Career and Technical Education Conference. Proposals will be accepted through May 4.
Click here for an overview of the 2011 conference.


From USDA

Apply to Make a Difference: Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants Available
Every day, thousands of local farmers and ranchers work hard to ensure that their communities have access to a diverse range of fresh, healthy affordable foods.  While nutritious food is a cornerstone of society’s physical health, a vibrant community also includes sustainable economic opportunities.  By funding projects that support these goals, USDA’s Farmers Market Promotion Program continues to make a difference for farmers at the local level. Read More>>


Getting Back to the Farmm
When he decided to get back into farming five years ago, Tony Andrejczuk faced more challenges than most farmers. Andrejczuk lost the use of his legs after a work accident in 1997, and being able to access his family’s entire farm is one of his biggest obstacles. Read More>>


Minnesota FSA Collaborates on $2 Million Project to Reach Minority Farmers
The Minnesota Farm Service Agency (FSA) wants to overcome the obstacles faced in reaching minority farmers and ranchers. So they have collaborated with area businesses and non-profit organizations to help meet their goal. Read more>>


From FFA

New! Living to Serve: Environmental Grant Program
The National FFA Organization is pleased to announce the availability of grant funds for FFA chapters to develop service-learning projects that impact environmental issues in their community. The Living to Serve: Environmental Grants are provided through funding from CSX as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
Chapters may apply for up to $2,000 to support year-long service-learning projects focused on developing and implementing projects that address local environmental needs. Service-learning is a method of teaching and learning that challenges students to identify, research, develop, and implement solutions to needs in their school or community as part of their curriculum.Project topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Wildlife conservation
  • Land preservation
  • Environmental education and stewardship
  • Recycling and composting

Read More>>

From National Young Farmers

The University of Vermont Extension has just released a 62-page guide for farmers seeking alternative ways of raising financing for land acquisition, operations, and expansion.  Entitled The Guide to Financing the Community Supported Farm, it explores a series of different models, ranging from promissery notes to owner-financed sales to multi-year CSA’s, and much more.  It examines these different options through case studies of farmers who have utilized them and also through legal, social, environmental, and accounting perspectives.  The guide is useful and informative not only for farmers looking for financing, but also for anyone interested in ways that farms and their communities can become more tightly connected and supportive. The guide, is free and available for viewing at the UVM website here.

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education

From FFA

New! Living to Serve: Environmental Grant Program
The National FFA Organization is pleased to announce the availability of grant funds for FFA chapters to develop service-learning projects that impact environmental issues in their community. The Living to Serve: Environmental Grants are provided through funding from CSX as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
Chapters may apply for up to $2,000 to support year-long service-learning projects focused on developing and implementing projects that address local environmental needs. Service-learning is a method of teaching and learning that challenges students to identify, research, develop, and implement solutions to needs in their school or community as part of their curriculum.Project topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Wildlife conservation
  • Land preservation
  • Environmental education and stewardship
  • Recycling and composting

Additional information can be found on the grant website.


Register early; Save $50 for July’s FFA Alumni Development Conference
For the first time, registrants to the top learning and networking experience for National FFA Alumni members can save by securing their spot early.
Registration is OPEN for the 2012 FFA Alumni Development Conference, held July 11-15 in Bozeman, Mont., and conference participants who sign up before May 1 can save $50. Registration starts at $400 and includes hotel accommodations, workshops, a conference shirt, most meals and transportation to/from local agricultural and cultural tours. Why Should you Attend? What’s the Agenda? What do Participants Need to Know? Find all this and more on the FFA Alumni website, Register Today!

From NAAE

2010-2011 Annual Report
Read about our year in review, including highlights in Advocacy, Professional Development, and the National Teach Ag Campaign. View awards and winners, sponsor contact information, membership reports from the six regions, and NAAE's evolving mission. Available on the website>>


Apply for an Award
NAAE award applications are now available. We have awards for every stage of your career–from pre-service student scholarships to lifetime achievement awards.  Applications are available here.


Region I Conference Coming Soon to Washington
Take advantage of this annual opportunity to meet with other agricultural education leaders in your region and grow yourself as a professional. Update your passport for a field trip to Canada. Region I registration and information site>>
Not in Region I? NAAE's other regions are gearing up for their conferences later this summer. Get more information by visiting your region's page on the NAAE website>>


Congratulations to the 2012 NAAE Interns
These interns will be joining us in our Lexington, KY office for the summer.
NAAE Professional Development Intern:

Paige McCrory, University of Missouri
NAAE Communications Interns:
Katie Nickels, Washington State University
Andrea Watts, University of Kentucky


Communities of Practice


From CAST

Water issues, an eagle cam, and Izzy the dog that sniffs out contraband food. The finely textured meat controversy has a governor who indignantly calls out, “Dude! It’s beef.”  Check the blog link for a pig’s eye view of the gestation stall issue. 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 30 edition of CASTFriday Notes.

From AAAE

A reminder that the deadline for submitting materials for consideration for the Kahler Award and the new Thesis Award is Wednesday (April 4, 2012). The link for the Thesis Award is http://www.aaaeonline.org/thesis.php and the link for the Kahler Award is http://www.aaaeonline.org/kahler.php. Please remember you need to be logged in to be able to see the link for submitting the Letter of Nomination and Thesis or Dissertation.

From AgrowKnowledge

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!!!

Are you interested in expanding your knowledge about Data Collection in Agriculture?AgrowKnowledge is pleased to announce registration is open for attending two upcoming Faculty Development workshops to be offered in June. You can register by clicking on the title of the workshop you wish to attend and provide the requested information. See workshops>>

From AITC

 

From ACTE

Book of the Month
A Leader’s Legacy
by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner
The leadership and leadership development have been studied and examined for years. There is no one set definition. In their book A Leader’s Legacy, Kouzes and Posner discuss what they believe to be the effective habits of developing and establishing a lasting leadership legacy. Read More>>

From USDA

Farmer Does as Teacher Says – All in One
Among his other science courses, Kochemba teaches 8th and 9th graders about energy conservation.  While doing research for his classes, “I ran across information about BCAP,” says the educator.

The Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) is a government incentive program created in the U.S. Congress during the drafting of the 2008 Farm Bill. It was designed in part to provide farmers income while they raised non-food crops that could be turned into energy. Read More>>

You Asked, We Answered: FAQs About the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass
It’s been a little over two weeks since we launched the Know Your Farmer, Know Your FoodCompass, which includes amulti-media PDF narrative and an accompanying interactive map. Together, they’re designed to help you navigate USDA’s grant and loan programs and learn how USDA supports the development of local and regional food systems. You’ll hear about people across the country putting these resources to work. We hope you’ll be inspired and perhaps get some new ideas to try out on your farm or ranch or in your community. Read More>>