Amaris Ketcham

Ag Ed and the Feds: Together for Tomorrow, Perkins, and Policy

Blog Post created by Amaris Ketcham on Apr 23, 2012


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>>


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


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.


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.


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)



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>>