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This is a feature from the November 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


New teachers are always hungry for innovative, insightful, and engaging ways to teach their students. From professional development workshops, to looking for ideas on the Ag Ed Discussion Lab or Communities of Practice, there are endless opportunities to find creative ways to teach. As experienced agriculture teachers, it is important to encourage our new teachers to seek out opportunities to learn and grow in our profession.


For Heidi Richard, agriculture teacher at Beau Chene High School, in Arnaudville, Louisiana, professional development is the key to her success in the classroom.


“I believe it is essential for educators to help students reach their highest potential by teaching them the important skills needed for their futures,” said Richard. “Therefore, I try to attend various conferences to gain unique teaching ideas that will help engage my students.”


As a first-year teacher, Richard quickly learned the importance of differentiating instruction and providing hands-on experiences for her students to gain life skills. She found that the more relevant her assignments were to real-life scenarios, the more engaged her students were in the classroom. Throughout her teaching career, Richard has had her students develop resumes, prepare and present speeches, and complete mock interviews to help them gain valuable employability skills that they will need later in life.


Now in her sixth year of teaching, Richard makes it a priority to attend the NAAE Region II conference to watch the Ideas Unlimited presentations. From these presentations, she has been able to see numerous ideas that she can modify for her own classroom purposes. This year, she taught a soil textures lesson to her students using a candy activity she saw during these presentations. Richard uses the knowledge and skills she learns from all of the conferences and conventions she attends to better her curriculum, and ultimately her students.


“My goal as a teacher is to prepare my students for the future, and to do that I have to go above and beyond their expectations in order for them to discover their purpose in life,” added Richard. “I want my students to look back and realize that their life was changed because of agricultural education.”


As a recipient of the 2017 NAAE Teachers Turn the Key scholarship program, Richard was able to gain numerous new ideas and techniques the help reach her students at the 2017 NAAE Convention. NAAE offers the Teachers Turn the Key Scholarship as a means of encouraging young teachers to remain in the profession, and to encourage and recognize participation in professional activities. Follow this link to learn more about this award category and to view pictures and news releases of our award winners at the 2017 NAAE Convention. This program is sponsored by RAM Trucks as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.


A Message from our partners, as part of News & Views: 


Nick Nelson

US Traveler

Posted by Nick Nelson Nov 7, 2018

This is a feature from the November 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Cowboy Logic: “I am no longer

young enough to know everything.”


I have a map of the United States that I have been carrying around since I was in high school. After visiting a state, I color it in on the map. I started color-coding the states as well, so I can differentiate between the reasons I was there. So far, I have visited 31 of the 50 states. The majority of those states I visited because of my involvement with NAAE—16.  Most people travel to see the sites or shop the unique stores—I have always been interested in an area's agriculture enterprises. When I come back, I always talk about the production I saw and experienced with my students.


The other advantage of traveling that I have had is meeting ag educators. What surprises me every time is the fact that ag teachers are the same everywhere you go, which is cool because there is no teacher in any school that has the personality of an ag teacher! So I thought I would put a list of why I think ag teachers are so unique compared to the average school teacher.


  • We vote liberal about education issues, but we vote conservative about agricultural issues
  • We are the only teachers to ever visit a student’s home
  • We invest countless hours that we don’t get paid for—and don’t lose any sleep over it!
  • We are constantly changing our curriculum, sometimes minutes prior to class—and we can pull it off!
  • We know more about accounting than the finance teacher (especially about tax write-offs)
  • We know more about mammalian reproduction than the health/biology teacher and expect our students to care for real, live babies
  • We teach “real” math every day
  • We know all of the other ag teachers in the state and region and consider them dear friends
  • We never ever let the truth get in the way of a good story
  • We are a “Jack of ALL Trades,” but recognize that “We are a Master of None”
  • And we focus on teaching every child, everywhere, every day!


As I finish out my term serving NAAE on the Board of Directors, I can’t explain in words how amazed I am of the people in our profession. Ag teachers are truly the most impressive people in their schools and communities. Thank you all for allowing me to have the most rewarding experience I could have in this profession. Everywhere I have gone in my travels with NAAE, I have been made to feel like family—thank you for that!


Many things have happen this fall in the NAAE office. We have offered the Marketing/Communications position to Libby Duncan and she has accepted and started work for NAAE towards the end of October. We were very impressed with Libby’s background and expertise, and feel very strongly she is the right fit for this position. Hopefully you will be able to meet Ms. Duncan at the NAAE Convention in San Antonio. The rest of the staff had a successful week in Indianapolis, visiting with both teachers and students, and have been working tirelessly to prepare for the NAAE Convention and make it the best professional development event to date. You also may have seen some leadership changes to CASE.  Be rest assured that this outstanding professional development initiative is in good hands and will continue forward to benefit agricultural educators in years to come! I look forward to seeing you all in San Antonio, and I am extremely excited about the vision and the progression of where agricultural education is headed.


Best wishes,

Nick Nelson


A Message from our partners, as part of News & Views: 


Here are additional documents referenced in the previous "Seeking Candidates for Teacher Position on the National FFA Organization Board of Directors" post.

Agriculture Teachers:


NAAE is seeking agriculture teacher candidates to serve a 3-year term on the board of directors of the National FFA Organization.  This 3-year term of service will begin July 1, 2019 and conclude June 30, 2022.  As set forth in the attached Memorandum of Understanding (attachment #1) between the US Department of Education and the National FFA Organization, the agriculture teacher representative will be a representative of the US Department of Education.  Additional documents are attached to explain the responsibilities for National FFA Organization board members and as well as FFA organizational documents (attachments #2-6).  Candidates may also choose to review minutes of National FFA Organization Board of Directors meetings here …


Candidates for this position must submit their credentials to the NAAE office no later than 5:00 pm Eastern time on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.  E-mailed and/or faxed documents are acceptable.


The following completed documents are required of all candidates:


  • cover letter expressing interest in this position
  • resume highlighting experiences and expertise
  • Memorandum of Agreement Teacher 2018 (attachment #7 … signed by candidate and candidate’s administrator)
  • BOD Teacher Contact Information Form (attachment #8)


From among all applicants, the NAAE Board of Directors will select three nominees to send forward to the US Department of Education and to the National FFA Organization Board of Directors.  The US Department of Education and the National FFA Organization Board of Directors will make the final selection from among the three NAAE nominees.


Candidates may scan and e-mail completed documents to the NAAE office at or fax completed documents to (859) 323-3919.


Please direct questions about the National FFA Board of Directors to Dr. Steve Brown at


Please direct questions about submitting your credentials to me at


Thank you.




Wm. Jay Jackman, Ph.D., CAE

Executive Director

National Association of Agricultural Educators

300 Garrigus Building

Lexington, Kentucky  40546-0215

Office: (859) 257-2224 or (800) 509-0204

Cell: (859) 619-4990

Fax: (859) 323-3919


Andrea Fristoe

Continuing a Legacy

Posted by Andrea Fristoe Oct 10, 2018

This is a feature from the October 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Looking back on the formative years of our teaching careers, we can all remember those mentors who helped us get on our feet and keep our heads above water. For Krista Pontius, agriculture teacher at Greenwood High School, in Millerstown, Pennsylvania, the positive influence her mentors had in her early teaching career encouraged her to continue the same legacy as a mentor to new agriculture teachers in her state.


“In my early years of teaching, I relied on the advice of seasoned teachers and advisors in my tri-county area,” said Pontius. “As I began to feel comfortable in my position, I felt it was my responsibility to give back to the profession by serving as a mentor to new teachers in the field.”


For the past 14 years, Pontius has served as the mentoring coordinator for the Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators. Through this role, she matches first-year agriculture teachers with appropriate mentors to welcome new teachers into the ag education family and help them get a head start in their careers. As the mentoring coordinator, she also works with individuals at Pennsylvania State University to conduct workshops, webinars, and other forms of support for new agriculture teachers throughout the year.


Most recently, Pontius worked with NAAE to host Pennsylvania’s first Agriculture Inquiry Institute. This event brought together teachers with varying levels of experience and introduced them to inquiry-based teaching and learning. Numerous participants commented that this event was the best professional development experience of their careers.  


Pontius plans to continue her work as a mentor and mentoring coordinator for the state of Pennsylvania. She values the influence mentoring agriculture teachers have in new teachers’ lives and wants to develop more opportunities for teachers in all phases of their careers to come together and collaborate.


It is for her hard work and dedication as a mentor coordinator that Pontius was selected as the 2017 NAAE Region VI Outstanding Service Citation award recipient. NAAE recognizes current and retired NAAE members who have made significant contributions to agricultural education at the state, regional, and national levels with the Outstanding Service Citation award. This program is sponsored by Goodheart-Willcox.


Follow this link for more information about this award category and to see the other regional award winners.

This is a feature from the October 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.

National FFA Convention:


As I look back at some of my most memorable events during my teaching career, one would be experiencing National FFA Convention. For me, being able to experience the excitement of thousands of students cheering for agriculture, while representing every state across this great nation would definitely be at the top of my teaching experiences.

I would like to encourage you to stop by the NAAE booth (#4535) to meet the NAAE President-Elect candidates, Hals Beard from Region II and Parker Bane from Region IV, and to also see what we have to offer you in your daily ag teacher's walk of life. While at convention please, come by the CASE booth (#4627) to find out how attending a CASE Institute can change the effectiveness of your teaching skills and influence your daily instructional lessons.

Please be sure to visit the “Blue Room” at the National FFA Convention, no tickets are needed and there will be a lot of technology offered. While you are making plans to attend this year’s convention I would like for you to consider this question. Who will fill your shoes when you retire from the classroom? The agricultural education field is in great demand for teachers in every state. With that being said, I want to encourage you to have your students come by the Teach Ag booth (#2501), so they can get involved in agricultural education early and consider ag ed as a future career.

National TEACH AG News:
Tagged to Teach Ag Declaration Event
Calling all seniors and transfer agricultural education majors. Are you committed to becoming an agriculture teacher? Sign-up for our Tagged to Teach Ag Declaration Event at National FFA Convention. Participate in a brief (less than 10 minutes) special event that recognizes you for intending to Teach Ag. Bring your parents, advisor, and friends. The signing event takes place at the Teach Ag booth (#2501) in the FFA Expo area during National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, October 25-26 on our stage. Please make your way to the Teach Ag booth 10 minutes prior to the time you sign-up for and check-in with Elizabeth or Andrea. We take care of the rest.


Schedule your time today!


State Teach Ag Results (STAR) Program 2019 Enrollment
Information on enrolling in the 2019 STAR program is now available. Existing state contacts were sent details last week. If your state is not currently enrolled in the STAR program and you want to be, contact with questions. All states, new and existing, must submit their intent to participate form no later than November 16 to receive grant funding support in 2019.

Future Agriscience Teacher (FAST) Symposium
The National Teach Ag Campaign and the National Association of Agricultural Educators are hosting a Future Agriscience Teacher (FAST) Symposium November 26-December 1 in San Antonio, TX, in conjunction with the NAAE Convention. Through an application and selection process 34 students were awarded stipends to attend. We would like to invite additional preservice teachers who may be attending NAAE to join the other 34 attendees. Unfortunately, they will need to cover their own travel, registration and housing. If students wish to attend at their own expense, they will need to arrive Monday, November 26 so they are ready to have dinner at 6pm Monday evening. They may depart any time after Noon on Saturday, December 1. Of course, they are welcome to attend NAAE convention on their own as well, this track applies only to those who want to commit to participate in the FAST track.

Please RSVP by Thursday, November 2 if you have students who would like to participate in the FAST track.


Staff Update:
The NAAE board meeting was held on September 8-9, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky, at the home of Jay and Sharon Jackman. The board meeting was very productive and updates were given to the board by our NAAE board representatives. The NAAE staff are working very hard to make this year’s NAAE Convention in San Antonio, Texas outstanding. There will be numerous professional development opportunities happening this year at the NAAE Convention, so please take advantage of this opportunity to not only better your teaching skills, but meet other teachers and network across the nation.

We are excited about and hope you get to participate in the 2018 National Agricultural Education Summit to be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Antonio, Texas on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, just prior to the 2018 NAAE Convention and ACTE CareerTech VISION 2018.

Thank you and safe travels,
Jason Kemp


A message from our partners as part of News & Views: 


This is a feature from the September 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Agricultural education reaches far beyond the classroom walls. Across the country, there are numerous stakeholders who help to promote and provide endless resources to the great profession we belong to. Merie Linegar spent her 35 year career helping to mentor students and teachers across the state of Oregon, to ensure program success.


As the Dual Credit Coordinator at Treasure Valley Community College, Linegar enabled thousands of rural students to obtain dual credit for their agriculture and natural resources coursework. She spent her career aligning the curriculum at Treasure Valley with the course standards at area high schools, to ensure students would get a head start in their postsecondary education. Without her dedication and guidance, many students in Oregon would not have continued their education beyond high school.


“I was privileged to work with Merie for almost four years at Treasure Valley Community College,” said Terry Basford, Director of CTE and Special Projects at Treasure Valley Community College. “Her understanding and connection to all of the secondary programs was invaluable. Merie was the ‘go-to’ person for answers to questions, directions, communication, information, and support. Our program would not have the connection to our high schools and students if it was not for her.”


Throughout her career, Linegar focused on supporting and promoting agricultural education as a means to better prepare and serve students. Her tireless efforts to support our profession are why she was named the 2017 NAAE Region I Outstanding Cooperation Award Winner. Without stakeholders like Linegar, agricultural education would not be able to make the profound impact that it does each and every day, in the lives of our students.


NAAE recognizes organizations, agribusiness companies, and others who have given outstanding support to agricultural education with the Outstanding Cooperation Award. The plaques for this program are sponsored by Forrest T. Jones & Company.

For more information about the Outstanding Cooperation award category, and to see who else was named, follow this link.

Nick Nelson

Scratching the Bulls

Posted by Nick Nelson Sep 13, 2018

This is a feature from the September 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Halter breaking bull calves has always been something I have enjoyed. I know the secret to taming those buggers down. It's pretty simple really....they live for two things, and one of them is being scratched -- you can figure out the other. We like to take the bulls to the county fair before we send them down to the bull development lot. Some people show their cattle for marketing, others show because that is what they do. We show for the experience for both the calves and the kids. I could care less how they do in the show. I really focus on getting them ready for the competition when they get to the grower lot, and I find that gentling and backgrounding the calves creates for an aggressive bull when they are all thrown together. Winning awards is nice, but it is more than that -- just like being recognized for an NAAE award.


I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the NAAE award winners for the 2018 year. This is a major accomplishment that oftentimes we may overlook the importance of. As these awards recognize you and your program's accomplishments, they also recognize your community, administration, students, and your fellow teachers. That is truly the importance of this recognition. The stakeholders involved in the awards are extremely proud that they had a contribution, and these awards are recognized at the national level. You can see the 2018 Award Winners on the NAAE website.


Many of you may have seen information about the Ag Ed Summit that will occur Tuesday, prior to NAAE Convention.  This will be an extremely important meeting that I believe will impact the future and advancement of agricultural education. I would encourage that each of your states have a representative available to attend, as well as other ag ed stakeholders in your state. I am excited and encouraged by the work that the National Council for Agricultural Education has done at their September meeting to advance agricultural education into the future. I do not believe there has ever been a time when all of the ag ed stakeholders have been willing to collaborate, as I witnessed this past week.


Ag education has had many changes over the past 100 years that we often forget about. Some of the facts we need to remember is that we had 90,000 students taking agriculture classes in our public schools 10 years prior to the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917. Ag ed has been housed in the US Department of Agriculture, US Department of the Interior, US Department of Health, Education and Wellness, US Department of Labor, and currently in US Department of Education.  Since we have been housed in the US Department of Education, we have gone from nine federally paid staff in the 60’s to seven in the 70’s, five in the early 80’s, and two in the 90’s until now. Change is upon us again, and we have the power to control our own destiny regarding the advancement of agricultural education in the US.


A message from our partners as part of News & Views: 


Friday Notes is designed to enhance communication among various agricultural sectors, educators, students, and the public who are interested in a variety of plant, animal, food, and environmental issues. Friday Notes advocates the pursuit of credible, unbiased, science-based information. Material contained in linked articles is from the original authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of CAST.

In This Issue...... Click to Read
New Board Members Add Expertise--P. 2
Animal Agriculture News
Food Science and Safety News
Plant and Environment News
International News
General Interest News
Rainbow Grain Bin
Harvest time must be approaching as a double rainbow lit up this grain operation on the Great Plains. And at this time of year, Happy Labor Day weekend to those in the U.S. 
 USDA Wants Input 
The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture seeks stakeholder input regarding food and agriculture priorities.
   Join Us at the  
World Food Prize
During a special morning session on Oct. 17, CAST will present the 2018 Borlaug CAST Communication Award to Dr. Marty Matlock. Watch for details.
 IFIC Gathering
The International Food Information Council will host the "Food Innovation Summit" September 21 in Washington, D.C. 
Teach Ag Day
naee.orgThe ninth annual National Teach Ag Day celebration will take place September 20, as the nation recognizes the important role agriculture teachers play in our schools and communities.

Scholarship Contest
College students can win more than $25,000 in scholarships while advocating for agriculture in the Animal Agriculture Alliance's 10th annual College Aggies Online competition.
 Aid Programs
The U.S. Agency for International Development awarded $21.9 million to end global hunger and povertythrough three Kansas State University programs.
Submit an Idea
TeeEverWe welcome suggestions for future CAST publications and projects. Click here to submit ideas.
   Catch CAST Online! us on social media tostay up to date on the latest ag trends and recent CAST news!
August 31, 2018
  The Big Ag Show
   Science, innovation, policy, and entertainment
The 2018 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa,  delivered again--innovative machinery, the latest crop science, political announcements, and weather that ranged from torrential rain to perfect late-summer sunshine. The event provided plenty of entertainment also. Attendees could race miniature cars, tap putt-putt golf balls, and watch a couple of Guinness record events. Performances included the Peterson Brothers (see related links and photo below). The following articles provide just a sampling of the various events: 
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, along with Undersecretary Bill Northey, told attendees the administration is committed to making year-round E15 ethanol sales a reality, and they hope to resolve international trade disputes in a way that does not cause irreparable economic damage to agriculture.     
The "floating tractor" attracted even more attention after a sudden downpour during the first day of the show. Special tires help the tractor cruise on water.   
Experts from the Weed Science Society of America released information about systemwide strategies for protecting soybean export values by reducing weed seeds in harvested soybean crops.      
   News and Views 
U.S.-Mexico Trade Proposal:  Although details are still coming to light, analysts discussed the proposed U.S.-Mexico trade deal
Farm Income Forecast:  The USDA net farm income, a broad measure of profits, is forecast to decrease from 2017 to 2018.   
WFP Research Award:  The World Food Prize Foundation announced that Dr. Matthew Rouse, a USDA-ARS researcher, is the winner of the 2018 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application.     
Fighting Food Waste:  Researchers say food waste could rise substantially by 2030 when more than 2 billion tons will be binned. The U.N. set a goal to cut waste in two, but current trends are alarming. Watch for details regarding the upcoming CAST rollout of the research paper Food Loss and Waste.   
Farm Aid Policy:  Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details of actions the USDA will take to assist farmers in response to trade damage from retaliation by foreign nations. 
         News from the Far Side of the Barn
petersons at farm show_ melissasly
The Peterson Brothers delivered positive vibes about agriculture at this year's Farm Progress Show. Along with a safety focus--Call Before Ya Dig--they did favorites such as Chore. Considering the rain the day before, maybe they should have performed Tractorstuck, their homage to mud and machines. 
Flying the Coop (video):  Want to learn what freedom looks like? Then ride on the wings of Liberty, the bald eagle.
Footballers' Food:  The average player of this NFL team consumes 4,000 calories per day, but some eat much more. What does it take to feed an NFL team for a week?       
No, You Can't Eat Just One:  Time to consider the "manifest destiny" of potato chips and the place this snack holds in the national iconography.      
           New CAST Board Members       
The CAST organization relies on expert input from many sources, and board members are key in helping promote CAST's mission of communicating credible information. New board members include the following:     
jamie eichorn      
 Jamie Eichorn, Head of Seedcare North America Syngenta,  
 will be on the CAST Board of Trustees.   
Nandini Mendu   
Nandini Mendu, North Carolina Biotechnology Center,  
will be on the CAST Board of Representatives.       
Amy Ferriter, Crop Production Services representing  
Aquatic Plant Management Society, will be on
the CAST Board of Representatives.
 A Chance to Make a Difference 
cast donate page pic  
CAST's success in countering misinformation and continuing as a voice for sound science in the  
future--as we have in the past--depends on your membership and donations. Click here to help.  
Globe (TopLatestNews)
Friday Notes News Categories
Photos courtesy of the Agricultural Research Service (top masthead); TopLatest News (globe at right). P. 1 teach ag image from, grain bin pic from, Farm Progress pic from YouTube, and Peterson Bros. photo from Melissa Sly. Animal Sec. giraffe pic from Food Sec. vending pic from Plant Sec. corn pic from Inter. Sec. boat pic from Gen. Sec. reef pic from Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of the USDA Agricultural Research Service.     
   Baby Chicks 
       Animal Agriculture and Environmental News
A baby giraffe shows how to enjoy the day while kicking up its heels
Healthy Hen (video):  This Iowa egg farmer describes the behavior of healthy hens with top animal welfare practices used on his farm.   
BSE Reported:  The USDA discovered a cow in Florida infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy. No meat from it entered the human food supply. BSE cases in the United States are rare. 
BSE Reaction (opinion):  This writer explains why the BSE report did not cause unwarranted consumer or market reaction due to the safety and quality of American beef
Pig News:  The National Swine Registry updated the policy on over-aging purebred pigs, and this veterinarian explains the pros and cons of batch farrowing
What Is Meat?  A Missouri labeling law says meat comes from an animal--some disagree.
Racehorse Risk:  A recent vote to fund a project at the University of Kentucky will examine inflammatory and anti-inflammatory markers as early indicators for potential catastrophic injury in racehorses. 
The Wild West?  Cattle rustling, a signature crime of the Old West, has returned to Texas--and the thefts take on many forms
Buzzing with Opportunity:  Veterinarians are trained to handle patients with four legs, two legs, and sometimes no legs, but a new federal regulation requiring vets to examine and treat honeybee colonies is under staffed and Cornell is finding a way to fill the void.

 Salmonella (FSIS) 
    Food Science and Safety News
meat vending
 Vending machines offer everything  
The Egg Breaker (videos):  This assembly line of egg cracking leads to the separation of almost 20,000 eggs per hour
From Pond to Plate (video): Boiled or fried? However you like your shrimp, Texas's largest shrimp farmer has you covered
Hamming It Up:  This is no ordinary slab of meat on a platter--the 2018 grand champion ham of the Kentucky State Fair was sold for a record $2.8 million.   
Calories Count:  Cornell researchers found that when sit-down restaurants listed their menu calories, consumers cut their consumption in appetizers and entrees.    
Gen Z:  This survey analyzed the impact Generation Z will have on the food industry through their views on health and wellness--and the distribution of retail products.          
Food for a Cause:  Ever wonder what happens to all the leftover food that goes unsold at the Iowa State Fair? This year's vendors donated more than 5,500 pounds of food to the Food Bank of Iowa.  
 Plant Agriculture and Environmental News
Iowa State scientists used crowdsourcing to help formulate an algorithm used to teach machineshow to identify tassels of corn plants in photographic images.
Driverless Tractor (video):  The 2018 Farm Progress Show had a little bit of everything in farming technology, including a driverless tractor.  
Soybeans 101:  This overview tries to provide answers to everything you wanted to know about soybeans.             
Fatty-acid Discovery:  A team led by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln identified two new fatty acids in the seed oil of a flowering plant native to central China. 
Plant Protein:  According to research from North Carolina State University, plant cellular complex plays an important role in plant processes, as well as in how plants may have adapted to respond to environmental signals. 
Beating The Heat:  This University of Missouri Extension agronomist says livestock producers can stretch their short supply of hay this year by using a simple ammonia treatment on bales.
Rice Increase:  Mississippi growers will produce about 20% more rice this year, mostly thanks to additional acres planted over 2017's total.  
  World and Plug (SFGate) 
    International News   
scallops war_
Scallops War: French and British fishermen clashed in the English Channel over the tasty shellfish.
What's Cookin' on the Street? (video):  An Indian filmmaker has made his dad's village cooking into a YouTube sensation.
Testing Rice for Heat Tolerance:  Researchers in Thailand exposed three types of rice seeds to varying temperatures for one to two weeks in order to investigate their heat tolerance in a world of increasingly warmer temperatures. 
Pest Alert:  A new project is aimed at using state-of-the-art technology to help inform farmers in Africa of pest outbreaks that could devastate their crops and livelihoods. 
African Ag Innovation:  Although Africa has a rapidly growing population and an alarming number of undernourished people, there is enormous potential for innovation to transform agriculture, bring in jobs, and strengthen food security.     
Soil Convention in Rio:  More than 2,000 scientists gathered in Rio de Janeiro under the theme "Soil Science: Beyond Food and Fuel" for a week of exploring the increasingly complex, diverse role of soils.
Swine Fever Update:  The rapid onset of the deadly African swine fever in China has been detected in several far-separated locations.

  General Interest News
It may not be the Great Barrier Reef, but a giant deep-sea coral reef system was found off the South Carolina coast. 
She-I-O (video):  In an effort to recognize female farmers on Women's Equality Day, Land O'Lakes recently launched a new music video version of "Old McDonald Had a Farm."
Blame the Plankton:  In recent decades, Lake Tahoe has grown murkier, and people blame the usual suspects such as tourism, development, and drought. UC-Davis experts believe there could be another culprit. 
Disinformation about Vaccines (opinion):  Mark Lynas says trolls and social media bots have been promoting misinformation about vaccines in an effort to sow mistrust and division.      
Farms, Kids, and Safety:  According to this report, from 2001 to 2015, 48% of all fatal injuries to young workersoccurred in agriculture.
Football Safety:  A Mississippi State research program is receiving $20,000 for testing a product to improve safety for football players--specifically looking at faceguards.  
Cannibalistic Worms:  A team of geneticists found that young worms consume their own intestines so they can continue to produce eggs even when food is scarce.  
CAST Information
YouTubeCheck out CAST's page at the YouTube site to view highly regarded ag-science videos about probiotics, food safety, and water issues--or the latest video dealing with proposed mandatory labeling of GMO food items.

CAST provides Friday Notes as a benefit to its members.  Please do not forward, edit, copy, or distribute the Notes in any form to nonmembers without the express permission of the CAST Executive Vice President Kent Schescke ( Instead, please encourage your colleagues to join CAST and thereby become eligible for all membership benefits. Contact Colleen Hamilton at 515-292-2125, ext. 224 or, or CLICK HERE for CAST membership information.

Societies, Companies, and Nonprofit Organizations
Serving on the CAST Board of Representatives
* Agricultural & Applied Economics Association 
* American Association of Avian Pathologists 
American Association of Bovine Practitioners  
* American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, & Resources-Agricultural Management    
* American Dairy Science Association  
* American Farm Bureau Federation  
* American Meat Science Association  
* American Meteorological Society, Committee on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
* American Seed Trade Association 
* American Society for Nutrition Nutritional Sciences Council    
* American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers 
* American Society of Agronomy  
* American Society of Animal Science   
* American Society of Plant Biologists                                      world supported by plants and animals
* American Veterinary Medical Association
* Aquatic Plant Management Society
* BASF Corporation
* Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont   
* Croplife America  
* Crop Science Society of America                                                                       
* Entomological Society of America 
* Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy 
* Land O'Lakes                                   
* Monsanto
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Dan Gogerty (Managing Communications Editor)  
Kylie Peterson (Communications and Social Media Specialist) 
The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology
4420 West Lincoln Way
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Phone: 515-292-2125, ext. 222 (Dan) and 230 (Kylie)
**  With assistance from Carol Gostele (Managing Scientific Editor)  

This is a feature from the August 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Being an agriculture teacher really is the BEST. CAREER. EVER. Yes, there are days that make us question our sanity. There are struggles and misfortunes that occasionally leave us feeling defeated, as with any other profession. What makes our job worth it, though, is the profound impact we are able to make in the lives of our students each and every day. We equip the future with knowledge and skills that are necessary to be successful in postsecondary education, the workforce, and life in general.


It is for this reason that agriculture teachers stay in the profession for a lifetime. Jill Shrum, former agriculture teacher at Hendersonville High School, in Hendersonville, Tennessee, spent her 20 year teaching career molding her students into critical thinkers and problem solvers. Prior to her retirement, she also served in many roles both inside and outside of the classroom. Shrum was a mentor for eight student teachers from Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Tennessee at Martin, and Western Kentucky University. She also helped to train new teachers across the state through a variety of workshops that focused on curriculum design, hands-on learning, and classroom management.


Since 1997, she led a statewide event called “Flowers on the Hill,” that brought members of the Tennessee Association of Agricultural Educators and the Tennessee FFA Association together to lobby for agricultural education in Tennessee. This event not only provided an avenue for teachers, students and stakeholders to advocate for agricultural education, but also served as an experiential learning opportunity for Shrum’s students. Each year, her students created floral arrangements for each of the 133 Tennessee legislators and Governor and delivered the arrangements themselves. Through this experience, Shrum’s students gained practical knowledge, while they also made a difference in educational policy in the state of Tennessee.


Shrum’s contributions to the agricultural education profession are the reasons she was named the 2017 NAAE Region V Lifetime Achievement award winner. Her diligence in and out of the classroom made a difference in the lives of her students and colleagues. She truly set an example for current and aspiring agriculture teachers to mentor, motivate, and make a difference throughout their careers.


NAAE recognizes retired NAAE members who have made significant contributions to agricultural education at the state, regional, and national levels with Lifetime Achievement Award. This program is sponsored by Ford as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. For more information about this award category, and to see the other 2017 Lifetime Achievement award winners, follow this link.


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This is a feature from the August 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Hello NAAE Members,

Well, it’s that time of year again when we welcome students back to our classrooms with the excitement of agriculture and the role it plays in our daily lives. I want to share with you an excerpt from an article I read on, on how teachers make a difference and change the lives of their students in three aspects.


1. Education -- A great teacher makes learning fun, as stimulating, engaging lessons are pivotal to a student’s academic success. Some students who are more prone to misbehavior, truancy or disengagement are more dependent on an engaging teacher. Making your classroom an exciting environment for learning will hold the students’ fascination, and students learn best when they are both challenged and interested. It’s part of motivating students, which may not be easy, but which will benefit students immeasurably in the long run.


2. Inspiration -- Inspiring students is integral to ensuring their success and encouraging them to fulfill their potential. Students who are inspired by their teachers can accomplish amazing things, and that motivation almost always stays with them. Inspiration can also take many forms, from helping a pupil through the academic year and their short-term goals, to guiding them towards their future career. Years after graduation, many working professionals will still cite a particular teacher as the one who fostered their love of what they currently do and attribute their accomplishments to that educator.


3. Guidance -- Teachers can also be a trusted source of advice for students weighing important life decisions. Educators can help their pupils pursue higher education, explore career opportunities, and compete in events they might otherwise have not thought themselves able to. Students often look to their teachers as mentors with experience and knowledge and, as an educator, you will almost definitely be asked for advice at some point during your career.

-Excerpt from "Teachers Change Lives"

My topic this month is the importance of agriculture teachers in the classroom. I want to commend our agriculture teachers across the U.S. that go in to their classrooms each day to educate our students on the importance of agriculture and the major role agriculture plays in society.

Let’s take a moment and think about how the demographics have changed. Each year, fewer of our students are raised on family farms. I can attest that 30 plus years ago, when I was in high school, at least 50 to 60 percent of my classmates were directly related to production agriculture. Today, in that same geographic location, production agriculture families have decreased to around 10 to 15 percent. One of the struggles we have today in the classroom is trying to explain the importance of agriculture to a growing society that is not directly related to the production side of agriculture.

We, as educators, must always strive to explain the importance of agriculture and how we should also appreciate the American farmer who produces our food more efficiently in the US than any other country in the world. I tell my students each year; “No matter how important and successful you become, you will never escape agriculture. For without agriculture, you would be unclothed and hungry.” 

I want to personally encourage you to celebrate the National Teach Ag Day in your classroom on September 20th. If you will go to the NAAE home page and click on the Teach Ag pulldown, you will find lesson plans for either 40-50 minute class periods or 75-85 minute class periods. These lesson plans provide everyone with instructional materials to use in the classroom to promote agricultural education.

I want to encourage you to share with your students the current demand for agriculture teachers we are facing in the US and how they can be part of the best career ever. 

Our staff, board members, and officers have been very busy this summer attending regional summer conferences, making state visits, judging award applications, and working on the logistics for NAAE Convention in San Antonio, Texas. I want to congratulate the award winners and scholarship recipients on a job well done and I look forward to seeing you at convention. NAAE hopes that everyone is planning to attend the 2018 National Agricultural Education Summit, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, just prior to the 2018 NAAE Convention and ACTE CareerTech Vision 2018.

Our staff and board members are gearing up for the September board meeting in Lexington, Kentucky on September 7th,8th and 9th. I would like to encourage our committee chairs to please try and have your virtual meetings done as soon as possible. Minutes from the regional meetings can be found on your committee page, which should help with the discussion topics you will bring before your 18 committee members. Please compile your recommendations from your virtual meeting for our board meeting. Please include Nick and I in your email call-in information for your virtual meetings, we want to stay informed on the direction the committee feels they need to move toward.

I want to thank you for your time and everything each of you do to help educate our students about agriculture and the importance it plays in our daily lives. I want to encourage you to reflect back on the article I shared with you from, and always remember you are making a difference in our future by inspiring one student at a time.


I hope you have a blessed year,


Jason Kemp
NAAE President Elect


A message from our partners as part of News & Views:

This is a feature from the July 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


As agriculture teachers, we believe our students are our future. Why shouldn’t we feel the same way about student members in our professional organization? NAAE student members represent the future leadership of our grassroots organization, so it is important that we encourage our preservice teachers to take advantage of early membership.


A primary benefit of NAAE student membership is liability insurance. As teachers, we know how important it is to have legal coverage when we are in the classroom, so it is important that we stress to our student members – whether a former student, student teacher, or a group of preservice teachers at your summer conference – that liability insurance is a necessity when entering the classroom.


Another benefit of NAAE student membership is early access to professional development. NAAE works diligently to provide preservice teachers with opportunities to learn about inquiry-based instruction, classroom management, and so much more. Our student members have the chance to enter their first classroom with their pockets overflowing with curriculum, tips, tools, and resources to hit the ground running and be tremendously successful in their first year of teaching.


NAAE also offers its student members summer internship opportunities. In the areas of advocacy, communications, and professional development, preservice teachers are able to see “behind the scenes” of agricultural education. These experiences help future teachers gain knowledge and skills that will help make their agriculture programs unique.


These are just a few of the numerous benefits students can take advantage of while in college – and did we mention student membership is only $10? What a great deal for our preservice teachers! So the next time you are around preservice agriculture teachers, make sure you stress to them the importance of their early involvement and membership in their professional organization. Share your reasons for being involved in NAAE and help them to get an early start in their future careers.


For more information about NAAE student membership follow this link.

This is a feature from the July 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


This year, we are excited to have five fantastic interns working on behalf of agricultural education, in the areas of communications, professional development, advocacy and Teach Ag. We can’t wait for you to meet them this year in San Antonio for the 2018 NAAE Convention!




Name: Taylor Searie Masters
University of Kentucky
Year in School:
Hometown, State:
Irvine, Kentucky


Why did you choose to major in agricultural education? 
I chose to major in agricultural education because I want to help students find their niche through agriculture. The agriculture industry has always held a spot in my heart. I was raised on a small family farm in eastern Kentucky, where my father trained horses. My love for agriculture began on the family farm, but it wasn’t until I started taking agriculture classes in high school, that I realized my calling was to become an agriculture teacher.


What are your professional goals? 
Once I complete my bachelor’s degree in agricultural education at the University of Kentucky, I hope become an agriculture teacher in eastern Kentucky. I want give back to the region that shaped me in to the person I am today.


What has been the best part of your internship? 
The best part of my internship thus far has been serving as a judge for the Agriscience Fair at the Kentucky FFA State Convention. I was able to serve an organization that gave so much to me as a high school student, while networking with professionals and educators in Kentucky’s agriculture industry. 



Name: Caitlin Ross
School: University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Year in School: First Year Masters Student – Animal Science, Physiology
Hometown, State: Maysville, Kentucky


Why did you choose to major in agricultural education?  Compared to most kids, I grew up in a rather abnormal situation -- both of my parents just happened to be teachers. My mom, a fifth grade math teacher, was the parent who constantly pushed me to perform various learning exercises, from book reports to the F.O.I.L. method – she instilled in me a love and appreciation for learning.  


With my Dad, things were always a little different. Instead of written assignments, I would always beg him to include me on whatever “field trip” he had scheduled next. At first, it started out with home visit -- one in particular with a happy and hungry pig who loved marshmallows. Then, I always wanted to go with my dad on his week long summer adventures to a camp with tons of high school students dressed in interesting blue jackets, where they canoed in the lake and “played” in groups on wooden obstacle courses. My all-time favorite were the yearly trips to the fair where there were cows and sheep and pigs, oh my! So, while I received my love of learning from my mom, I found my subject passion with my dad, the agriculture teacher.


As I entered college, although I resisted at first to the idea of becoming exactly like my parents, I found a balance in a degree where I could fulfill my love of livestock with my passion for helping others – agricultural education.


What are your professional goals?  Through my student teaching experiences at Western Hills High School in Frankfort, KY and The Scots School in Bathurst, Australia, I was able to discover just how much I truly enjoy making connections with students and being able to see them succeed. However, I was faced with a dilemma because I also really enjoy expanding my knowledge in the animal science industry. After much thought, I have decided to pursue a master’s degree in animal science. After that, I have aspirations to become an animal science professor at a postsecondary institution, so that I am able to teach about the subject I enjoy the most.  


What has been the best part of your internship? 
I have enjoyed working with my fellow interns and learning more about them and their goals and interests. I feel that I have had a great opportunity to learn from each of them by how they approach situations and problem-solve. My interactions with them have helped me to grow personally and professionally.


Professional Development

Name: Star Schipper
School: South Dakota State University
Year in School: Senior
Hometown, State: Lonsdale, Minnesota


Why did you choose to major in agricultural education?  When I was in high school I was not able to take any agriculture courses because my high school did not have an agriculture program. I was not able to participate in FFA or 4-H because we did not have the programs and because of this I did not have a lot of opportunities that other students that I go to college with did and still do. This has really opened my eyes and I want to start a new high school agriculture program or an adult education program to give students the opportunities that I did not have.


What are your professional goals?  I would really like to start my own business or work for a company that educates the public about the agriculture industry. I feel that the agriculture industry does not get the credit that it deserves because of biased information that is spreading. I feel that education is the key to fixing this issue.


What has been the best part of your internship?  The best part of this summer has been working with my amazing team at NAAE and getting to see the wonderful state of Kentucky with them!



Name: Samantha Wagner           
School: Michigan State University
Year in School: Senior
Hometown, State: Springport, Michigan


Why did you choose to major in agricultural education?  When I think back on my years in agriculture classes and how my passion for agriculture grew, I think back to one situation in particular. It was my freshman year of high school and our FFA chapter was partnering with the Jackson County Farm Bureau for Project Rural Education Day, or Project R.E.D. I was assigned to explain where all the ingredients in pizza come from to a group of third graders. As the kids came around to our station, I watched in awe as urban students became intrigued to learn where their food came from. As urbanization continues to increase, we begin to see a divide between consumers and producers -- exemplified by only 22 percent of Americans trusting that the agriculture industry is transparent about food production practices. It is now more important than ever, to ensure that individuals know where their food comes from. It was in that moment, interacting with those kids, that I had realized the agriculture industry needed me and I was excited to answer the call to service.


What are your professional goals?  Upon completion of my bachelor’s degree, I will become certified to teach agriscience within the following year. In this year, I will be student teaching in an agriscience classroom, which will allow me to gain real classroom instruction experience, as well as permit me to expand my horizons in the agriculture field for a few years before pursuing a master’s degree. There are three areas that interest me greatly within the agriculture industry; communications, education, and policy. I believe that all of these areas are interconnected. You cannot effectively educate if you cannot communicate, and you cannot advocate for policy if you cannot educate. It is for this reason that I am still undecided about pursuing a master’s degree in agricultural communications, agricultural education or policy. After the completion of my master's degree, I intend to pursue a career in agriculture -- whether it be in the classroom or elsewhere in the agriculture sector, I will use my communication and advocacy skills to help guide me.


What has been the best part of your internship?  The best part about my internship has been interacting and educating individuals who have had very little exposure or previous knowledge of agricultural education. As I work through a typical meeting with a Representative or Senator, I am able to provide them with background information on agricultural education, career and technical education, and the National FFA Organization. It is after showing them how unique agricultural education three circle model is, and how we are able to integrate mathematics, science and literacy through a hands-on approach in agriculture, that they realize just how amazing agricultural education really is.  


Teach Ag

Name: Elizabeth Knight
School: University of Kentucky
Year in School: Junior
Hometown, State: Frederick, Maryland


Why did you choose to major in agricultural education?  Agriculture is something that has always been important in my life. As I began to be more involved within the industry, I started to see the need to educate those both directly and indirectly involved in agriculture. Whether it be at the grocery store or on Facebook, you are bound to see less than factual information being spread about the agriculture industry, so I decided a major in agricultural education was a way to combat that. There are also so many opportunities available to agricultural education majors to educate others both in the classroom and through non-traditional settings. I love the versatility and variability that this major provides. The opportunities are endless!


What are your professional goals?  After graduation, I would love to be an agriculture teacher for a few years and gain experience from the formal education side. Eventually, I would like to step into a more non-traditional role of education, possibly through a non-profit or the USDA. Wherever my journey as an agricultural educator takes me, I always want to make it my goal to continuously advocate for the agriculture industry. 


What has been the best part of your internship?  This is a tough question because I have really loved everything about it! If I had to pick something, I would probably say the opportunity to travel. I am the type of person who loves going to new places and through Teach Ag I am getting the opportunity to travel to several cities and states that I have never been to before for various conferences and events. Through these experiences, I am also getting the opportunity to expand my network and develop myself professionally. This internship provides opportunities beyond my desk and that, to me, is one of the best parts.

This is a feature from the July 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


For most of us summertime is a busy time, just a different kind of busy than the school year offers. I find myself between livestock shows and baseball tournaments right now, along with traveling around to ag teachers' conferences. I landed in Pennsylvania to attend the NAAE Region VI Conference, and by the I got into the rental car to go to the conference location it was time for my son’s little league game, which I can listen to from an app on my phone. My son got a triple, which got me so excited that I missed the sign to turn and ended up on the turnpike, which happened to be a toll road.  We don’t have toll roads in Oregon, and I'm still not sure how they work, but what I have learned is that if you do not have a ticket, they charge you for traveling the whole length of I-83. My missed road cost me $30 for the 10 miles I was on it — someone from the east coast needs to help this rural Oregon kid out!


The more I travel around and visit with ag teachers, the more I am of the opinion that all ag teachers are the same no matter where you go -- we all have the same struggles and issues. One issue that is very common is an increase of non-traditional teachers filling the ag teacher shortfall. The real concern is that these teachers seldom last very long because of issues with classroom management, learning FFA, SAE's, or being willing to collaborate in their teachers' association. Some become very successful -- I can name two -- but most non-traditional, industry-based teachers struggle with the huge learning curve in agricultural education. We have a huge growth of new teachers, and I think this is a direct result of the National Teach Ag Campaign, however these teachers are struggling as well.


So the question that I get most often is how do we as a state or a region better support these teachers? Things that I have noticed across the nation is that our professional conferences are extremely helpful if we can get the teachers there. I have witnessed that successful conferences have infused more workshops instead of tours, and this is a direct result of “needs” surveys done prior to the conferences. New teachers want the content and the how-to’s! One state I visited had three days of workshops that varied from a full day, two hours, one hour to 30 minutes, based on the emphasis from the teachers attending. This conference that I speak of had a record number of teachers attending, and I believe that was because the state leadership did an outstanding job listening to the needs of the teachers they represented and were willing to change their conference to meet their members' needs.


As the National Teach Ag Campaign is doing a great job recruiting teachers, it is our job to retain them. I believe this begins with encouraging new teacher membership in our organization. Some regions have really done an excellent job of helping preservice teachers get to state, regional and national conferences — I believe this is important because we get them into the wonderful collaboration and the family collusion that NAAE provides its members. It is no different in recruiting your freshmen to become FFA members, because if we wait until they are sophomores or juniors, they have already missed out on so much. One region that I have visited has about four universities with agricultural education degrees, that work together to provide workshops specifically for preservice teachers at the regional conference. This workshop is one day ahead of the major conference schedule, but allows preservice teachers to hear from experienced teachers from various states. This also helps the preservice teachers to learn of the jobs available, and gives them a chance to be recruited as well. This is a win-win, as these soon-to-be new teachers are getting to rub shoulders with experienced ag teachers, who tend to be the state leaders, but the experienced teachers are learning the new technology and out-of-the-box ideas from the preservice teachers.


Lastly, I truly believe the next step to support our current, new, and future teachers is to set up a mentoring system at the local and national levels. The professional growth committee is soon to roll out a national mentorship handbook that can be very beneficial to retaining teachers. As older, more-seasoned ag teachers, we have to be willing to take an active role in this process. We must be willing to mentor young and non-traditional teachers to make sure their teaching experience is as successful as our own.


The NAAE staff have been busy all summer preparing for the national conference in San Antonio this fall. This includes that includes selecting and announcing award winners, selecting workshop presenters, sponsors, speakers, organizing the many programs for ag teachers and so much more. Currently there are four interns working in the office and one in Washington D.C., serving NAAE in an advocacy role. Recently we rewrote the Communications/Marketing position to find a person that really is dialed-in on the communications part of that position, who can run the website, CoP, as well as marketing, and be able to teach ag teachers how to use all of our resources. Virtual committee meetings will be scheduled shortly as we finish up the last regional conferences, so look for those dates on CoP. The action items will be evaluated and put into action at the NAAE Board meeting in September. Summer is indeed a different kind of busy, but please take some time to refuel the flame you have for teaching!


A message from our partners as part of News & Views: 


Andrea Fristoe

The Mark of a Mentor

Posted by Andrea Fristoe Jun 14, 2018

This is a feature from the June 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


HeadShot.jpgAs you browse Communities of Practice, attend your regional conference, or engage in summer professional development opportunities, you are bound to interact with several great mentors in agricultural education. The great thing about our profession is that there is an abundance of people willing to help you – whether you need resources for a lesson, advice on classroom management, or just a listening ear, there is always someone willing to help.


One such mentor is Wesley Anderson, agriculture teacher at Lac Qui Parle Valley High School, in Madison, Minnesota. Over the course of his 35 year teaching career, Anderson has been able to serve as both a formal and informal mentor to numerous agriculture teachers across the state of Minnesota.


“All of my career I have simply helped any ag teacher who needs assistance,” said Anderson. “I have shared my officer handbook and other materials with many instructors. I have teachers call me all the time asking for contacts for various topics and resources.”


Anderson is an open book for budding and seasoned agriculture teachers when it comes to information and tools to help build and improve their programs. However, the topic he most highly regards and stresses to those he mentors is the importance of Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) visits.



“I stress to other teachers how important it is to the parents of our students that a teacher from their child’s school actually comes out to visit them on their turf,” said Anderson. “That in itself sends such a powerful message to the family.”

The home visits are a critical part to Anderson’s program because it allows him to develop a relationship with both his students and their families outside of the classroom. Students who feel that he truly cares about their agricultural endeavors will ultimately be more engaged in the classroom and the program as a whole.


Anderson is also a proponent of the Ag Experience Tracker, which allows him and his students to document and track data for their SAE projects. This online recordkeeping system provides him and his students an in-depth analysis of their SAE projects, which helps them improve and advance their projects with ease. As a teacher, he wants to be fully involved in his students’ projects and provide them with the best tools, resources, and information to help them be successful.


Wesley Anderson was named the 2017 NAAE Region III Teacher Mentor award recipient. This award program is sponsored by CEV Multimedia. For more information about the Teacher Mentor award category and to see the other regional award winners, follow this link.