Amaris Ketcham

Creative Methods, CASE Scholarships, CTE Advocacy

Blog Post created by Amaris Ketcham on May 21, 2012

Your weekly update from the National Council for Agricultural Education


With various articles focused on agricultural communication, readers can check out headline topics as well as an award-winning h.s. ag video and the achievements of a university ag robotics team.

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.


If you are an agriculture teacher in Florida or Louisiana, and have ever considered teaching CASE, this summer is your opportunity to get the curriculum and accompanying professional development for free. 

As a special project of the National FFA Foundation, Mosaic is sponsoring full scholarships for Florida and Louisiana agriculture teachers to attend a 2012 CASE institute of their choosing. Everyone who attends a CASE institute comes away with the full CASE curriculum and accompanying materials for that course, as well as the benefit of extensive training on how to implement the course into their program. The Florida scholarship even includes a $500 travel stipend, so this is a unique opportunity to get first-rate professional development for free.  With budget restrictions that so many school districts are facing, this is a fantastic opportunity.

This scholarship is available for both beginning and experienced teachers, so whether you’ve been in the agriculture classroom for 20 years or are just tying down that first job after student teaching, you can apply. Although the deadline for these scholarships was originally the first part of May, there is still a lot of scholarship money left.  Scholarships will continue to be awarded after review of qualifications until all available scholarships have been awarded.  CASE institutes are starting soon though, so don’t delay.

Visit for the application form, and  to learn more about CASE and find institutes with openings.  Questions?  Contact CASE Operations Coordinator Miranda Chaplin at


The News & Views May/June Issue is now available online. Don't miss these articles:

Did you know that on Communities of Practice, you can organize your preferences with the What Matters section? Watch our video to see how.

Volunteer opportunity:  Facilitate a community on NAAE's Communities of Practice. We currently need facilitators for the following communities:  FFA, Ag. Economics, Ag Mechanics, Animal Sciences, Small Animal, Veterinary Science, and Marketing Your Ag Program.

To volunteer, contact CoP administrator Julie Fritsch, or learn more by reading this facilitator position description.

Communities of Practice


Hawaii Education Program Seeks to Increase STEM Education through Gardening
Many teachers use creative methods to keep their students engaged in the curriculum they are teaching. Some methods work far better than others. For one group in Hawaii, teachers are using gardening to boost their science, technology and math classes, while placing an emphasis on Hawaii’s need for more experiential science learning related to agriculture and sustainability.

The Kohala Center is using funding from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Creativethrough the Secondary Higher Education and Ag in the Classroom Challenge grants program to organize the Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network. This network, consisting of 30 elementary, middle and high school teachers, will establish a School Learning Garden program that will integrate core curriculum and STEM education with hands-on, garden-based learning. Read More>>

From FFA

Living to Serve: Environmental Grants – Due June 1
The National FFA Organization is excited to announce a new grant opportunity for chapters, Living to Serve: Environmental Grants! 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. Applications are due June 1, 2012.

Project concepts include, but are not limited to; wildlife conservation, land preservation, environmental education and recycling. Visit the Environmental Grants website for additional information. The Living to Serve: Environmental Grants are provided through funding from CSX as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Read More>>

The National Collegiate Ag Ambassador program is designed for college students to be advocates for our industry. 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. Read More>>

From Making a Difference:


Ag Ed Student Games
From Seed to Shelf - The Food Processing Game
In this activity you will try your hand at producing boxes of crackers and distributing them to grocery stores across the country. As in real life you will encounter problems and surprises during the manufacturing process.

Ag Overload - Food for Thought
Use your knowledge about agriculture and your gaming skills to control a noxious (undesirable, troublesome, non-native, difficult to control or eradicate) weed. Pick a partner to play against and check your score against your classmates…who know the most about agriculture?

My American Farm
The site includes more than a dozen different agricultural games. Test your ag-knowledge and gaming skills while exploring careers, interacting with American geography, learning about nutrition, building the perfect piece of equipment, and designing your own farm!

Buzz about Bees
Learn about the differences between native bees, honey bees, wasps, and hornets!

Range Rambler - Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
Explore how Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Global Information System (GIS) are used by a range scientist. Mapping skills and tasks reflect actual field work in this simulation.


General Advocacy Tools