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This is a feature from the March 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Each year, NAAE recognizes six distinguished agricultural education programs with the Outstanding Middle/Secondary Agricultural Education Program award. This award is designed to highlight the vast accomplishments and program successes of middle and high school agriculture programs across our nation.  


Each of the 2018 award recipients were selected based upon the quality programming they offer their students. Although the selected programs range in size from the number of students and teachers, to the communities they serve, one common theme rings clear, each program believes in creating an environment where students “learn by doing.”   


From school farms to laboratories with current technological resources, the students impacted by each of these programs are able to become critical thinkers and problem solvers, as well as informed consumers and successful citizens through the hands-on and inquiry-based experiences provided by the agricultural instructors at these programs. One program offers its students study abroad opportunities, while another has students conduct herbicide and pesticide evaluations on the plants they grow. Many of these award-winning programs offer dual credits for students to further their studies in agriculture at the postsecondary level. With all of these diverse opportunities, it is clear that these agriculture programs want to fully prepare their students for future collegiate and career endeavors.


Want to know more about the 2018 award winners? Follow this link to check out their press releases and click here for photos from the 2018 NAAE Convention in San Antonio, Texas.


The Outstanding Middle/Secondary Agricultural Education program award is partially sponsored by Bayer as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Thank you Bayer for making this opportunity possible for these distinguished agriculture programs.



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


This is a feature from the March 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.

Greetings NAAE Members,

It is hard to believe that we are within two months of the end of our school year. I hope that all of you have had a great year and know that student success is being accomplished within your programs.

Have you ever heard the phrase, "give credit where credit's due?" Well it's the time of year again when we must look at our programs' successes and consider applying for NAAE awards. I know that we, as teachers, do not want to blow our own horns about what we do within our programs, but here is something that I would like for you to consider when you do not apply -- our students' successes and the recognition they deserve go unrewarded.

The bottom line is this, we at NAAE appreciate all the hard work that you put into your programs to make your students' lives better, and for giving them the opportunity to be more successful through your teaching efforts. I really want to encourage each of you to take the time to fill out these applications to highlight the accomplishments of you, your students, and your programs' accomplishments because if we, as agriculture teachers, don’t share our success, then who will? Note: Please be sure to go the NAAE website for the updated applications that are available.

Teach Ag Updates: Like always, kudos to Mrs. Ellen Thompson and her crew with Teach Ag.

NAAE Board Update:

The NAAE Staff and Board had a very productive board meeting in Lexington, KY at the Good Barn on March 8th, 9th and 10th at the University of Kentucky. The NAAE staff brought updates and survey reports on last year’s NAAE Convention in San Antonio, TX, and updates on this year’s 2019 NAAE Convention in Anaheim, California. Committee business went well; this is always a very vital part of our grassroots organization. We appreciate the voice of the members and the suggestions that are generated out of our committees.

Have a great day!


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

Parker Bane

Advocacy Begins at Home!

Posted by Parker Bane Feb 20, 2019

This is a feature from the February 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


I hope this message finds you well. This time of year is full of blessings and challenges for agricultural educators as we enter the final half of the school year and head directly into our season of competitions and awards.  


Speaking of awards, I'd like to take a moment to put in a plug for the NAAE award programs. We often put so much energy into recognizing the success of our students, that we sometimes forget to showcase the incredible contributions that we make as educators. Our diverse award programs give you the opportunity to do just that. No matter where you are at in your career, or in what setting you educate, there is an award program for you! The credibility and publicity that an NAAE award can bring to your local program is remarkable. Contact your state association for more information on state due dates. State-winning applications are due to the NAAE office May 15th, so don't delay! Your state's due date is likely to be soon.


Showcasing your program's accomplishments is a great way to build relationships with decision-makers at all levels. Right now, the NAAE Public Policy Committee is working on several exciting projects. Check out their Communities of Practice page for more information. First, a state legislation crafting survey has been completed and the results are posted. This document can help you see what other states are doing legislatively for agricultural education. Next, the committee continues to work to provide other resources that are helpful to your advocacy efforts like one-page documents on advocacy topics and compiling advocacy success stories.  


A great opportunity coming up is the ACTE National Policy Seminar. This is a fantastic program that combines professional development, discussion, and time for visits to your state's Senators and Representatives. NAAE will have the opportunity for some discussion specific to agricultural education, where we will likely hear an update on the National FFA Charter revision. Whether this is your first NPS, or you've been several times, the seminar is an outstanding advocacy workshop.  


Whether you are advocating locally or nationally, NAAE can help you tell the agricultural education story!


Just to give a quick staff update as well, NAAE is gearing up for NPS and the award application submission links are now live! 


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



This is a feature from the February 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Each year, NAAE recognizes six teachers who are at the pinnacle of their profession—those who are conducting the highest-quality agricultural education programs. This award recognizes leadership in civic, community, agriculture/agribusiness, and professional activities. Outstanding agricultural educators are innovators and catalysts for student success in agricultural education.


The selected teachers for 2018 are professionals both in and out of the classroom. They have built their programs to serve their communities’ needs, develop leaders, and provide students with learning experiences that teach career and life skills they can utilize to be successful later in life.


These outstanding teachers focus on teaching students, rather than curriculum. By providing their students with experiential learning opportunities, they are able to teach them about agriculture in practical settings where students can apply their foundational knowledge to real-world situations. One teacher has created a “Made in Oklahoma” project that involves a store, food trailer, and catering business to serve her community, while another teacher has developed a canine grooming, training, and whelping program to teach her students about small animal science.


Beyond their diligent work in the classroom, these outstanding teachers are also leaders in their professional organizations at the local, state, and national levels. Many serve on NAAE committees, as well as hold offices in their state associations. They also seek opportunities to grow and develop their own skills through intensive professional development programs, such as the NAAE National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy. One thing is for certain, their success is a direct result of their ambition to continue learning and their involvement in the agricultural education profession.


Want to know more about the 2018 award winners? Follow this link to check out their press releases and click here for photos from the 2018 NAAE Convention in San Antonio, Texas.


NAAE is proud to have the Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher award program sponsored by Caterpillar, Inc. and Tractor Supply Company, as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Thank you Caterpillar and Tractor Supply for making this opportunity possible for these distinguished agriculture teachers.






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


Please join us for a FREE WEBINAR on March 13 or 14!   


The National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), in partnership with The FOOD EVOLUTION Educational Outreach Coalition, invites you to an exclusive, free, online webinar. Together we hope to inspire teachers to use the Food Evolution film as a tool to engage their students in using scientific practices to guide their decision-making. Our hour-long webinar will introduce attendees to the film and its accompanying Educational Resource Guide. We will discuss the film and its classroom applications, model an activity from the guide, and allow time for Q&A with a member of the FOOD EVOLUTION film team. Teachers who attend the entire webinar will receive a FREE copy of the film and the Guide, and a certificate for 1 hour of professional development to submit to their district or administration.


Aside from participation in this program, FOOD EVOLUTION is currently only available for educational and public screening rental or purchase. Consumer DVDs and streaming options are not currently available.  Be one of the first to use this film in your classroom!


This film is a great fit for any curriculum that focuses on media literacy, biology, agriculture, ethics, genetics, sustainability, climate change, and global hunger. FOOD EVOLUTION and the STEM-aligned messages it conveys about the value of science, technology, innovation, and analytical thinking in daily life creates an opening for engaging and thought-provoking discussions.  


The standards-aligned Educational Resource Guide includes discussion questions, screening guidelines, and procedural lesson plans for classroom use.  


To register or for more information, go to:   


For more information about Food Evolution please visit:  

For more information about the Food Evolution Educational Outreach Coalition, please email:

NAAE Members:


Have you considered getting more involved in the leadership for NAAE?  Committee membership is a great place to start.  Learn more about NAAE committees on the NAAE website and on Communities of Practice (scroll down to the lower right corner of the CoP welcome page for links to the committee pages).


Please refer to the attachments for more information.


To inquire about open positions on NAAE committees, please contact the respective committee leader (contact information on the attachment).


Many thanks.




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


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
A Hello and Goodbye for CAST Staff Members--P. 2
Animal Agriculture News
Food Science and Safety News
Plant and Environment News
International News
General Interest News
Blood Moon Risin'super blood moon eclipse will occur Sunday night, January 20, in glorious fashion across North and South America.
  Nominations Open for Prestigious Award 
Nominations are open for the 2019 Borlaug CAST Communication Award--forms and instructions are available here.
 World Food Prize Opportunity 
The World Food Prize Foundation's George Washington Carver Internship is an unparalleled professional opportunity for students interested in global issues of hunger, poverty, and development.
Calling Ag Ambassadors 
The National Teach Ag Campaign is seeking the nation's most outstanding agricultural education majors to represent the profession at the 2019 National FFA Conventionthis fall in Indianapolis.
Send In Ideas
CAST welcomes suggestions for future publications and projects. Click here for a look at how to get involved with CAST social media
Research Internships 
Cornell University is joining with a university in Hungary to offer CALS undergraduate students opportunities to participate in summer research internships.
FFAR Nominations
The Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research seeks nominations (due Feb. 28) for its 2019 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award.
    Catch CAST Online! us on social media to stay up to date on the latest ag trends and recent CAST news!
January 18, 2019
Generation Yum? 
   Survey indicates that younger people are more  
into food and agriculture
Many try to categorize groups of people by using generational labels. Mention baby boomers and an image of Woodstock might take shape; Generation Xers often get portrayed with an MTV clip in the background. When a survey about young people, agriculture, and food surfaces, folks struggle with terms such as Gen Y or millennial. But as an article in Feedstuffs explains, Eve Turow solved that by calling 18- to 34-year-olds "Generation Yum." The name seems to blend well with information from the Feed4Thought survey, as it points out the close connections today's youngsters have with food.  
The general findings indicate that younger people are trying to deepen their understanding of agriculture. They are looking into nutrition, animal welfare, and sustainability--and they accept that the "digital revolution has arrived in agriculture." The article suggests that every age, gender, income bracket, household size, and nationality agrees that farmers have a mission to produce safe, nutritious food for consumers. Luckily, we have thousands in the agricultural community working on that
News and Views 
Planetary Health Diet Draws Mixed Responses:  Research published in The Lancet argues that diet and food production need to change to improve health and avoid damage to the planet. However, some disagreed with the comments--for example, the pork industry's official response was that the report is radical and irresponsible, and a European ag society says the findings show a "lack of agricultural understanding."  
Limited Opening:  The USDA will reopen Farm Service Agency offices for limited services (mainly tax and loan situations) as the government shutdown continues.       
Searching for Ag Data:  The grain markets are scrambling for information as the government shutdown continues. This university economist explains some of the effects.    
CES Follow-up:  Some cool--and silly--items from last week's Consumer Electronics Show. 
Hunger on Campus:  As the costs of college have climbed, some students are going hungry.  
News from the Far Side of the Barn
romeo the frog_
Juliet, Wherefore Art Thou?  
In an amphibian version of The Bachelor, scientists found a mate for Romeo, a rare Bolivian frog. Now the pair can help save the dying species. 
Carrying a Heavy Load (video):  This four-year-old deer carries around an impressive display--519 inches of sculpted antlers. 
Their Version of the Wave (video):  This shimmering effect is produced by thousands of honeybees moving in sync, and it's used to scare wasps away from the nest.   
Fur Balls on the Couch (video):  We're not sure the canine is totally into this snuggle, but at least they're not fighting like cats and dogs.         
  Hello, Goodbye 
 Kimberly Nelson Joins CAST Staff as Kylie Peterson Moves to the Beef Council    
While the staff members at CAST say farewell to one talented communicator, they welcome another. This week we recognize the wonderful input the organization has had from Kylie Peterson--and we reluctantly say goodbye. At the same time, staff members are excited about the talents that Kimberly Nelson brings in as she takes over the social media/communications position.    
Kimberly Nelson gathered her passions for science, agriculture, and communication from many sources, and now she will be using her experience and skills as the "Communications and Social Media Specialist" at CAST. From writing to editing, from USDA regulations work to Iowa State University graduate studies, from research trips in Guam to bicycling pursuits on Iowa's Ragbrai bike trip, Kimberly has a varied background and plenty of abilities. As she said, "I am excited to work with people who are passionate about science. Communicating complex research findings to a diverse group of people can be a difficult process, but I am happy to be part of it." Click here to find out more about CAST's newest staff member.   
kylie peterson headshotKylie Peterson is not only a talented media specialist, she is a cowgirl at heart--and her love of the beef industry is taking her away from CAST and on to a job as the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Iowa Beef Industry Council. Kylie grew up on a cattle farm in Iowa, she excelled in the ag/communications field at Iowa State, and she has been the Communications and Social Media Specialist at CAST for the past year and a half. Along with her various tasks here, Kylie wrote several blogs, and her love of agriculture and communication shine through them--two examples: County Fair Season and Mason Jar Memories. As she said "I am truly appreciative for the time I have spent at CAST. I am filled with bittersweet emotions as I take on this new adventure. I can't thank the staff and volunteers enough for welcoming me with open arms and for creating an environment where I could learn, grow, and flourish. This experience--along with the people I have met--will be something I cherish forever."
Globe (TopLatestNews)
Friday Notes News Categories
Photos courtesy of the Agricultural Research Service (top masthead); TopLatest News (globe at right). P. 1 student reading photo from, blood moon pic from, and frog pic from Animal Sec. rhino pic from and pig pic from Food Sec. burger pic from msn.jpg. Plant Sec. plant pic from and tree pic from Inter. Sec. restaurant pic from and farmer photo from Gen. Sec. cowgirl collage from and water pic from Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of the USDA Agricultural Research Service.     

 Animal Agriculture and Environmental News
san diego frozen zoo_
San Diego Frozen Zoo: The cryobank is a source of genetic knowledge about hundreds of creatures, and it may one day be used to bring endangered species back from the brink. 
Focused on Research (video):  The Iowa Beef Industry Council will fund live animal research, and they have received proposals from 13 states and 8 universities so far. 
Sad Update:  As a follow-up to a story we printed last week about the challenges of professional bull riding, we note that a rider died after suffering injuries during an event at the National Western Stock Show.  
Insects as Chicken Feed:  According to this report, black soldier fly larvae meal is beneficial in broiler chicken diets--for feed and as a tool against disease. 
Meaty Issues (video):  Various farm states are taking action to help protect their livestock and meat industries against the rise of what they call "fake meat" products. 
Building a "Pig Fortress":  Although some of his ideas are expensive, this hog expert gives suggestions about protecting pigs from disease.  
Court Ruling Offers Opportunities? (opinion):  Charlie Arnot (CEO of The Center for Food Integrity) says the defeat of "ag-gag laws" lets farmers be transparent about their effective, safe production methods.                
Fighting Pig Disease: Several key swine industry groups will align efforts to reduce the risks from foreign animal diseases by creating the National Swine Disease Council  
Australian Shepherd Turns Rescue Dog:  This "dog of the year" rescued his owner during a near-death encounter between man and cow.  

 Food Science and Safety News
This article--including several videos--explains why food contests are actually more like eating disorders. And this blog--Eating Contest Indigestion--looks back at the indignity of such pursuits.
Not So Fast (opinion):  Fasting might have some benefits, but there are many questions about the long-term health consequences regarding this type of dieting. 
The Smell of Hunger:  Some foods emit a scent that entices an eater to go for a calorie binge, but this research finds that ambient food scent can directly satisfy hunger
Milk Semantics:  This survey says consumers want the FDA to prohibit nondairy beverage companies from using the term "milk"on labels. The FDA is soliciting comments about the issue. 
Who Hasn't Moved My Cheese?  While Americans consumed nearly 37 pounds of cheese per capita in 2017, it was not enough to reduce the country's 1.4 billion-pound cheese surplus.            
Camp Brisket:  Texas A&M's annual Camp Brisket included barbecue enthusiasts from the USA and Canada. 
Apps for Waste:  Apps are helping with food waste problems--especially with directing food to assistance programs. 
Science-based Research (related to above):  Check out CAST Issue Paper 62, Food Loss and Waste
Plant Agriculture and Environmental News 
These experiments in Israel show that some plants can hear, communicate, and even set up a "wood-wide net." 
Glyphosate "Not a Risk":  Canadian health authorities stated that after a thorough scientific review, no research indicates that glyphosate is a cancer risk to humans at the levels humans are currently exposed.       
Helping Thirsty Peanuts:  North Carolina State University specialists are studying peanut varieties to find a "water conservation trait" that would help the plants maintain high yields during a drought.  
Buying Biotech:  China approved five genetically modified crops for import--the first in about 18 months--in a move that could boost its overseas grain purchases. 
Nitrogen Research (opinion):  This scientist says nitrogen management needs to be improved to address the triple challenge of global food security, environmental pollution, and climate change.   
calif oak tree_ 
Saving Oak Trees:  Millions of trees are dying due to Sudden Oak Death in California, and a Cal Poly student is working on the problem.  
The Freeze and Thaw Effects on Soil:  This blog considers the effects freezing and thawing have on rocks and soil. 
International News   
This site takes a look at the world's most exclusive restaurants--and no, you probably  
can't get a table.
First Sprouts on the Moon's Far Side (video): 
Cotton seeds carried by China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander have germinated on the far side of the moon. Lunar update: reports indicate that the first cotton plant died
Zen Preparation (video): This famous sushi chef explainsthat 90% of the work is done before customers arrive.        
A Fast Food McBattle:  An Irish fast food chain--Supermac's--won its battle to force burger giant McDonald's to relinquish its "big mac" trademark in Europe.  
Boars at the Border:  France will cull all wild boars in a zone along the Belgian border to try and avoid an outbreak of a deadly swine disease.   
Trending in India:  The following 10 mega trends for Indiain 2030 might help businesses and policy leaders envision the India of the future.  
nigerian farmer_   
Transforming Ag:  New planting and harvesting techniques have transformed the fortunes of rice farmers in Nigeria's agricultural belt, turning family-run plots into thriving businesses.
Ducks in the Soybean Field:  Parts of Argentina are experiencing floods in places where a drought caused havoc last year. 
General Interest News
cowgirl collage_
Change on the Range: A UC-Davis student writes about young, female ranchers trying to adapt to climate change on the range.
Follow the Sun:  A trend of planting wildflowers on solar sites could maintain habitat for disappearing bees and butterflies.
Genome Magic:  Syngenta and NRGene will team up to use the GenoMAGIC data analytics platform to enable high-performance molecular breeding.  
"Healthy" Eating (opinion):  This blogger considers whether or not "healthy" snacks are actually good for you. Are vegetable-themed snacks like cauliflower puffs and fiery hot Peatos actually "health food"?
Snake Oil Sales Pitch? (opinion):  This writer says some modern-day talk show hosts are the equivalent of the traveling medicine show.
Water Worries:  This overview looks at the problems coming from falling water tables in many parts of the world--digging deeper wells might not work in the long run. 

Spatial Groundwater Management:  Cornell researchers show a way to coordinate water use, taking into account all the farms drawing water from a particular aquifer.         
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 Melissa Sly at 515-292-2125, ext. 232 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
* National Corn Growers Association/Iowa Corn Promotion Board
* National Milk Producers Federation                                                                                        
* National Pork Board
* North Carolina Biotechnology Center       
* North Central Weed Science Society
* Northeastern Weed Science Society                              
* Poultry Science Association
* Rural Sociological Society                                                     
* Society for In Vitro Biology 
* Soil Science Society of America                          
* Syngenta Crop Protection 
* The Fertilizer Institute 
* Tyson Foods    
* United Soybean Board  
* Weed Science Society of America  
* Western Society of Weed Science
CAST assembles, interprets, and communicates credible, science-based information regionally, nationally, and internationally to legislators, regulators, policymakers, the media, the private sector, and the public.   
Members of CAST's Education Program


* Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo
* Cornell University
* Iowa State University  
* Kansas State University 
* Mississippi State University      
* North Carolina State University
* Purdue University    
* Texas A&M University College of Ag & Life Sciences   
* The Ohio State University  
* Tuskegee University    
* University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture 
* University of California-Davis    
* University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences 
* University of Kentucky  
* University of Missouri-Columbia    
* University of Nebraska Agricultural Research Division                                      
* University of Nevada-Reno College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources  
Note: Land O'Lakes provides sponsorship for the distribution of
Friday Notes to the National Association of Agricultural Educators.
CAST Logo Jan 2010
Dan Gogerty (Managing Communications Editor)  
Kimberly Nelson (Communications and Social Media Specialist) 
The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology
4420 West Lincoln Way
Ames, Iowa  50014-3447
Phone: 515-292-2125, ext. 222 (Dan) and 230 (Kylie)
**  With assistance from Carol Gostele (Managing Scientific Editor)  

This is a feature from the January 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


We hope your 2019 has started out great! At NAAE, we are putting together our 19 personal and professional goals for 2019. We'd love to hear your goals too! Use the comment boxes below to let us know what your goals are for 2019 and tell a friend to share his/her goals too!

This is a feature from the January 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Each year, NAAE selects six teachers who are in the early stages of their teaching careers as the Outstanding Early Career Teacher award recipients. This award is a means of encouraging early career teachers to remain in the profession and to recognize their participation in professional activities.


In 2018, the selected recipients for this award had numerous accomplishments, but one theme ran clear among them all – the primary goal for their agriculture programs is to promote student success. Each award winner, in his or her own way, continues to build their agriculture program around helping students reach their full potential.


These teachers have found many ways to increase student engagement and facilitate positive learning environments that will help their students be successful learners, consumers, and employees. One award winner opens career options for her students by providing industry-based certifications in her courses. Another award winner works diligently to develop community partnerships, allowing his students to have more experiential learning options. In addition, continual leadership development, as well as facility updates and management are proof that these early career teachers are working hard to build amazing agriculture programs for their students and communities. It is very clear that agricultural education is growing in a positive way with outstanding new teachers like these.


Want to know more about the 2018 award winners? Follow this link to check out their press releases and click here for photos from the 2018 NAAE Convention in San Antonio, Texas.


NAAE is proud to have the Outstanding Early Career Teacher award program sponsored by John Deere, as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Thank you John Deere for making this opportunity possible for our early career agriculture teachers.

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

Hello fellow NAAE members, I hope everyone had a safe trip home from the 2018 NAAE Convention in San Antonio, Texas. I look forward to next year’s convention when we gather in Anaheim, California. I want to take time to let Jay Jackman and his entire NAAE staff and team know what an excellent job they did, as always, in putting together another successful convention, good job guys!!

This year we kicked off the week on Monday with the National Agricultural Education Summit, which helped us focus on our future and take a look back at how we have transitioned over the years in agricultural education.

When you think of a fresh look and bright future, look toward Teach Ag. Teach Ag is doing great things through the excellent leadership of Ellen Thompson and her crew at Teach Ag. This year was so exciting to me in regards to the future of agricultural education in our country. I was able to witness 80 Future Agriscience Teachers (FAST) participants walk across the stage this year in San Antonio, Texas, representing 24 institutions across the nation. Wow, what an awesome group of early career teachers we were able to meet at convention this year. With that being said, you can sure tell the future is looking brighter because of these young teachers entering the profession where they will be filling job vacancies, beginning new programs, and filling retired teacher positions.  

At convention we got to hear from some of the top presenters across the nation in education as they shared best practices with fellow teachers that have a great success records in their classroom. I know none of this would have been possible without the gracious support of our sponsors who share the same passion for agricultural education as you and I do. To our sponsors, I cannot say thank you enough for your generous support in helping us provide a brighter path for our future in agricultural education.

Fellow teachers and members, if you have never had the opportunity to attend a NAAE Convention, I cannot express to you enough the benefits you will take away from attending this convention. The NAAE Convention offers a time for professional training and development for agriculture teachers across the nation, and you will be able to gain and develop a network of teaching friends. The best way to gain momentum in your classroom is by gaining knowledge and one of the best ways to gain knowledge is through collaboration with fellow teachers that do the same thing you do every day, and that is teaching agriculture.

I look forward to seeing you next year at the annual NAAE Convention and I hope you have a wonderful and blessed holiday season.

NAAE President,

Jason Kemp


Messages from our partners as part of News & Views:






The National Council for Agricultural Education is a partnership that convenes representatives from each of the AERO groups (Agricultural Education Related Organizations) to identify opportunities and resources, provide a forum for thought and direction and focus on academic and career success for all students.


On November 27, 2018 the National Council for Agricultural Education convened 130 Agricultural Education leaders from around the nation for the AgEd Summit held in conjunction with the NAAE Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Attendees included secondary teachers, post-secondary teachers, state staff, university faculty in teacher preparation programs, federal employees and employees of the National FFA.


The structure of the Summit was designed to examine three key questions:

  • What needs do you expect from the national level leadership for agricultural education?
  • What challenges and solutions do you see with bringing the various groups in agricultural education together to meet the needs?
  • How will we know that we’re on the right track? What will be indicators of success?


Through the process we collected some valuable questions and concerns that need to be addressed by the Council Board. Examples are; who is responsible to provide leadership for agricultural education at a national level and who is responsible for advocating for agricultural education at a nation level?


Overwhelmingly the responses at the end of the day were positive and reflective of the notion that we need to stop talking about strategic alignment and move to put something in place.


So, what is the next step? The Council will meet in December to review the consolidated feedback and start the process to identify a working plan for a structure to provide national level leadership for agricultural education that will meet the needs the groups identified and address the key challenges that were raised.


Please let me know if you have questions.


Buddy Deimler, President

National Council for Agricultural Education  

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