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Jason Kemp

"A Time to Celebrate?

Posted by Jason Kemp Sep 16, 2019

Fellow NAAE Members,
I hope all is well with everyone and your first six weeks of the school year is off to a great start. I would like to take just a moment of your time and discuss with you the value of award-winning recognition through NAAE for your programs. It seems that today we live in a high pace social media world where everyone has something to share or discuss related to accomplishments. I know that not everyone gets the chance to be recognized nor wishes to receive recognition for their hard work and dedication to their programs. There is also another side to that coin that we need to try and look at, and that is, our students’ success and recognition. Our students work extremely hard in our programs trying to master the skills their agriculture teachers present before them. I want to encourage you to share those accomplishments about your programs at the local, state and national levels. If we do not spread the word of our students and program accomplishments, then who will share their success stories our students’ achievements on a daily basis?
There is great value in being recognized as the recipient of an NAAE award. Recognition on a national level is very hard to achieve and one that should not be taken lightly. By allowing your program to receive recognition for their accomplishments will also help open doors for support for your program by individuals or organizations that would have maybe otherwise never knew your program existed. I look forward to spending time and getting to know the award winners for this year in Anaheim as they receive their national recognition for a job well done. Again, congratulations to all the NAAE award winners and thank you for your dedication to the profession.
I am proud to report to you that all staff position vacancies have been filled and everyone is hard at work trying to get things ready for the NAAE Convention in Anaheim, California as well as the NAAE booth at National FFA Convention next month in Indy. I want to encourage you to come by the NAAE both this year where we are combining NAAE, Teach Ag, CASE and MLC are all in one large booth. With one booth, it should make it easier for everyone to visit and have any questions answered you might have about your organization.
I want to remind everyone that September 19th is National Teach Ag Day and I would like to encourage you to use the lesson plans we have on the Teach Ag tab found on the NAAE page. The lessons we provide on the Teach Ag website will work for either a 45-minute and/or 90-minute class period.
Please tune in to the Teach Ag live celebration from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT!!! Go to the NAAE website and you will find the information needed to follow the Teach Ag Celebration.
See you at National FFA Convention!!!

Parker Bane

Much to celebrate!

Posted by Parker Bane Aug 29, 2019

I hope that this message finds you doing well.  Most of us are back in the swing of a new school year, and if that weren't enough cause for celebration, our members have a lot of good news!  First, make sure you check out the list of NAAE Award Winners!  It is humbling to see our colleagues recognized for the great work that they are doing.  This group of winners is truly outstanding, and I'm glad that they will get their time in the spotlight in Anaheim.  


We all know that teaching can be an emotionally challenging profession, but creating a culture of celebration can shift our mindset to the positive.  I love the opportunity to recognize students for outstanding achievements, and they appreciate being recognized, too.  Just yesterday, I had the chance to see a student turn out a great project in the mechanics lab.  I made sure to point it out.  


We need to point out what our colleagues are doing well, too!  Of course, we have the NAAE Awards program, but we also have great cohorts of professional development and coming up soon, the National Teach Ag Day Celebration.  Thursday, September 19th is a great day to celebrate the profession.  Personally, I love to learn, and I like to take a little time to share my passion for learning with my students on Teach Ag Day.  Tune in to the live celebration from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT!


We would like to welcome Sabrina Shaver and Olivia Thomas to the staff as Communications and Marketing Specialists.  Ashley Hood will also be returning to us on September 3rd as the Membership Coordinator.  Our staff has been busy training and preparing for many events this fall, including the NAAE Conference in Anaheim.  


Best wishes as you start the school year!  Take some time to celebrate!

Each year, the NAAE has the opportunity to recognize individuals and organizations who have made an impact on agricultural education across the country. These people go above and beyond standard support as they donate time, money and experiences to the agriculture students in their communities.


For many communities and classrooms, agricultural resources and experiences are not always plentiful, but through the dedication seen by these award winners, agricultural education has a bright future both in and out of the classroom. From the organization of events to highlight future agriculture teachers, to participating in research for the good of agriculture education and improving the connection with school administrators, the 2018 Outstanding Cooperation Award Winners certainly embody the premier leadership and career success that is taught to agriculture students across the country. 


Without the support and cooperation of individuals and organizations like them, agricultural education would not be where it is today. Once again, congratulations to the 2018 Outstanding Cooperation award winners. 


Want to know more about the 2018 Outstanding Cooperation award winners? Follow this link to check out their press releases from the 2018 NAAE Convention in San Antonia, Texas. Forrest T. Jones and Company is a sponsor of the Outstanding Cooperation award. 

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


Hello fellow NAAE members, 

I trust your summer has went well thus far and that you are enjoying the much needed time with family and friends. I know for many, you are knee deep in showing livestock at this point in the year and are planning your schedules around your summer CTE training. Please remember to balance and pace yourself for the long haul in this career.
The question that gets asked to me all the time is, “Why do we need more Ag teachers”? The answer is really simple when you stop and think about it. The first thought that we as agriculture teachers fire back at them is that we will never escape agriculture and that is the most accurate statement ever stated by any Ag teacher. With this question in mind we need to go a little deeper into the subject and think about the vast amount of jobs that stem from agriculture and the many different sectors that people normally do not think fall within the agriculture realm.
While it is true that less than 2 percent of Americans are directly employed by the agricultural industry, many more work for a business that is adjacent to it or otherwise dependent upon it. Agriculture is more than sows, cows and plows which is known as production agriculture. More than 22 million people are employed in agriculture related field. That’s one in 12 American jobs. These are jobs in fields such as; food science and food inspection, packaging, conservation or agricultural engineering. The basics for every one of these jobs are related back to agriculture teachers. In order to keep up with the ever changing field of agriculture, we need to be turning out more agriculture teachers for retiree replacements, etc.
Next I would like to encourage the teachers that will be serving as cooperating teachers this fall or next spring for universities to place student teachers along with student observers. We as Ag teachers and NAAE members need to encourage our student teachers and student observers to become student members. I have spoken to agriculture student members at their club meetings on this subject. Stop for a minute and look at the membership cost verses the benefits for student members.
Student members get the same professional coverage that we do as a student member and that to me is so important for the student members. Take a moment and share with your student teachers and observers the benefits of NAAE’s Student membership.
Student members enjoy all of the same benefits as active individual members, including the same level of liability coverage (see above), but NAAE also has programs and initiatives targeted specifically for those who are preparing to become agricultural educators. Please share with them what they get for $10.00 found below.
1. Upper Division Scholarship: Student members can apply for scholarships awarded during their student teaching semester. Applications are due in May for the upcoming year, so double-check to make sure you apply at the right time.
2. Pre-Service Professional Development: Student members are invited to participate in all NAAE professional development, including workshops, online professional development opportunities and Communities of Practice.
3. National Agriscience Preservice Teacher Program: This program allows specially selected agricultural education majors to spend a day during National FFA Convention immersed in inquiry-based teaching methods and agriscience. Learn more.
4. Teach Ag Ambassador Program: Each year the National Teach Ag Campaign selects an elite group of agricultural education majors to represent the profession and encourage others to teach agriculture. This program is only open to current NAAE student members. Learn more.
5. Teach Ag Collegiate Contest: Each year the National Teach Ag campaign holds a contest for collegiate agricultural education student organizations to show their Teach Ag pride! The contest changes each
Staff Updates:
We have successfully completed 5 out of the 6 NAAE Regional Conferences thus far. The last NAAE Regional Conference for this summer will be Region 6th held in Roanoke, Virginia dates are July 21st – 25th 2019. The NAAE office staff have been very busy with summer intern training, office staff interviews, NAAE regional conference preparation, etc. We certainly miss Ashley Hood in our office staff, and we wish her well with her endeavors. We have 5 summer interns that are working out nicely and our new two staff members Sarah Warren and Sabrina Shaver are transitioning well. Our NAAE office has been interviewing for our staff member openings and we hope that we will soon have the two open positions filled.
Our NAAE board are working on judging scholarship award applications and following up on our regional summer conference work. Our next board meeting will be September 6th, 7th and 8th in Lexington, KY.
I hope that everyone will be able to enjoy the rest or their summer and be ready to resume back in our classrooms within the next month or so ready to help mold the minds of our future and share the importance of agriculture to the world.

Hello, colleagues!  I hope that this message finds you winding down the year and preparing to recharge for a bit this summer. 

Personally, I have a lot of recharging to do. I don’t know about you, but I had some crazy happenings this past school year. Among the craziest was a situation where a young man in one of my classes became very angry with his project and threw a hammer across the lab. 

Fortunately, no other student was struck and injured. However, it is obvious that the young man is dealing with more than enough hurt of his own. You see, this wasn’t his first outburst. Over the course of his high school career, this young man had several emotional situations.

While this particular student showed his pain during highly visible displays, many others suffer in silence. Accordingly, as educators we have a responsibility to be beacons of kindness and stability for our students. We don’t know all the battles that our students are fighting. 

Some struggle with hunger. Others are fighting to fit in because they feel different from the other students. Still more go home to struggling family situations. 

As Ag educators, we don’t have the luxury of a handy reference manual for how to deal with every possible situation we may encounter with our students. Furthermore, we are likely not all equipped to be therapists and counselors. What we do have, though is an amazing 3 circle model to engage students and improve their lives. 

Just this week at the Region II Conference, I got to see first hand the impact of animal science education on criminal offenders at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Offenders volunteer their time for the PAWS program by training service dogs for veterans in need. The veterans benefit by receiving well-trained dogs. The offenders benefit from the interaction with the dogs and the rigorous training process. 

Clearly, our students (hopefully) aren’t criminal offenders. However, the lessons we can learn from the PAWS program are applicable to all of our students.  

Have you ever taken students off site to work with animals?  What unfolds is amazing. Shy students begin to smile and come out of their shells as lambs approach the fence where they stand. Boisterous students are humbled by the gentle interaction with a well behaved puppy that wants to play. A grumpy teacher can’t help but soften up a bit when a dairy cow comes over and gives him cow kisses. 

These are regular occurrences in many of our programs. Whether we teach animal science, horticulture, natural resources, or business, we all have unique opportunities to engage students in meaningful experiences. 

By providing meaning to our students, we are giving them a precious gift. However, we have a responsibility to make sure that all students feel like they are in an environment in which they can learn. 

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a perfect example of this. Sometimes I’m grumpy. Sometimes I don’t choose my words carefully enough. I’m human. However, I really do want my program to be a place where students feel free to be themselves...a place where they can express and challenge ideas. 

That’s where it starts. I look forward to what we continue to do as a profession to make every student feel welcome in every classroom, every day. 

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


Each year, NAAE recognizes six outstanding agriculture teachers for their innovative classroom ideas with the Ideas Unlimited award. These teachers take learning to the next level by providing opportunities for critical thinking and problem solving through new instructional methods and ideas. The award winners for this category are selected by their fellow ag teachers.


This year’s award winners had a host of new and creative ideas to share with their peers. From interest approaches that involve “sewer lice,” to hands-on animal models used for artificial insemination demonstrations and practice, these teachers have provided their students with new ways to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world settings.


One teacher in this award category developed a “breakout game” to celebrate National Teach Ag Day, while another created an activity for his students to discover a soil’s water-holding capacity. Students have also had the opportunity to participate in real-life debates about agricultural topics, as well as compete in a farmers market challenge.


Each of these teachers have developed their curriculum to meet the needs of each of their students’ learning styles and abilities – helping to show their schools and communities, along with the profession, that agricultural education is a safe place for all students.


Want to know more about the 2018 Ideas Unlimited 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 Ideas Unlimited award is sponsored by National Geographic Learning | Cengage Learning.



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
Meet Two New Members of the CAST Staff--P. 2
Animal Agriculture News
Food Science and Safety News
Plant and Environment News
International News
General Interest News
A Super Cave
Vietnam's "world's largest cave" is apparently even bigger than previously thought.
  Corn Queen
UC-Davis "Corn Queen" Katie Murphy wins a $6,000 award for the best 3-minute research presentation--and yes, it's about some wondrous qualities of corn.
 G. W. Carver Award 
The George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture was presented at the BIO World Congress, and this year's winner is former USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Bourbon and Beyond
Led by the University of Kentucky, the new Kentucky Spirits Research Institute will help ensure that the state remains the innovation capital of the distilling industry.
Cattle Course
The 65th Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course is set for Aug. 5-7, and it will focus on opportunities and challenges in the cattle business.
Small Farms Field Day 
Best practices for growing industrial hemp and opportunities for bamboo production are among the research and demonstration projects that will be showcased at the North Carolina A&T annual Small Farms Field Dayon June 6 in Greensboro.
Poultry Clinic
USPOULTRY's 2019 Hatchery-Breeder Clinic will offer a look at industry updates, best practices, biosecurity challenges, and other topics related to chick quality--July 9-10 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Send in Ideas
TeeEverCAST welcomes suggestions for future publications and projects.
CAST Social Media
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn 
Pinterest YouTube Cast_blog 
May 24, 2019
   Growing Interest in Growing Hemp     
  Unsure about federal regulations,  
some states move forward 
A new Robobank report says cannabidiol (CBD), a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis, has been entering food and beverage products--beer, coffee, cocktails, jelly beans, and others--at an "astounding pace." Many consumers are interested for health as well as "indulgence" reasons. 
However, the substance remains illegal on a national level. Some states with legal marijuana--like Colorado--are developing their own rules. That can leave cannabis growers largely on their own--for example, pest management regulations are uncertain.
Several states--like Texas--are on the verge of legalizing hemp and hemp-derived extracts like CBD oil, as long as they contain only a small amount of "psychoactive elements." Citing a provision in the Farm Bill, Michigan issued 600 industrial hemp licenses
Hemp, not cannabis, will likely be the main focus for many farmers. Market fluctuations and production challenges affect both pursuits, but in the long run, the demand for fiber and grain might persuade many farmers to go with the industrial version of the crop. In any case, experts urge producers and investors to be cautious.           
 News and Views
Farm Support Related to Trade Disputes:  According to this press release, the USDA will take several actions to assist farmers in response to trade damage from "unjustified retaliation and trade disruption." The second "Market Facilitation Program" includes $16 billion of aid.    
Frank Mitloehner is the 2019 BCCA honoree.
Livestock Expert on the Hill:  The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing about opportunities to help farmers find solutions to climate and weather challenges. One of the expert speakers, Dr. Frank Mitloehner, spoke about the benefits of animal agriculture.          
Some Tariffs Removed:  The administration plans to lift the 25% tariff on steel and the 10% duty on aluminum imports imposed last year on Canada and Mexico. This could affect the "new NAFTA" situation.   
On the Road:  Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue reflects on his travels that have taken him to all 50 states and given him a look at "the bounty of the American harvest."            
IFIC Food and Health Survey:  This International Food Information Council survey shows that respondents are interested in sustainability, plant-based diets, and clean eating. Access the survey results and summary here.     
News from the Far Side of the Barn 
cow kissing in europe_
Austrian officials warn Internet users about the dangers of bovine smooching--a trend promoted by an online cow-kissing challenge. 
Down a Badger Hole (video):  A Canadian farmer finds a missing calf down a badger hole, and the rescue is an amazing rush.       
Muddy Bath Time (video):  These baby elephants have fun playing in muddy waters at a national park in Nepal.
Compost Me When I Die:Washington became the first state to legalize human composting. People can choose to have their bodies turned into soil after their death. Loved ones can use the soil to plant flowers, veggies, or trees.  
     CAST Adds Two New Members to the Staff      
April showers bring May staffers
May has us budding as we add two new faces to our team. Learn about the roles each will fill below, and don't forget to check out their stories on the CAST Blog.

Megan Wickham started her duties as scientific editor on May 14. She focuses on the production of CAST publications from beginning to end. If you are part of a CAST work group, you've likely "met" on a recent conference call. Megan jumped right into her duties and has already marked up some of the forthcoming publication drafts. Get to know Megan. 
Delaney Ridgway is our student assistant. The Iowa State University animal science major and birding enthusiast will be working on accounting, membership, and administrative tasks. The next time you phone the CAST office, give her a warm "hello" as she directs your call. Get to know Delaney. 
Globe (TopLatestNews)
Friday Notes News Categories
Photos courtesy of the Agricultural Research Service (top masthead); TopLatest News (globe at right). P. 1 cave pic from, hemp poster from, and woman-cow photo from Animal Sec. eagle pic from and hummingbird pic from Food Sec. chocolate collage from and and bacon sign from sneakpeeq.jpg. Plant Sec. robot from and genome pic from Inter. Sec. train pic from and water-people photo from Gen. Sec. ice cream pic from and geothermal pic from Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of the USDA Agricultural Research Service.     

 Animal Agriculture and Environmental News
eagle in flight_
Amateur photographer Steve Biro captured this stunning symmetrical image of a bald eagle flying over a pond in Canada. 
Regenerative Grazing (video):  This fourth-generation cattle rancher delivers a TEDx Talk about the relationship of grazing cattle and grassland ecosystems.  
Beef Exports:  Japan has agreed to lift longstanding restrictions on American beef exports, clearing the way for U.S. products to enter the market regardless of age.   
Dairy Production and Conservation (video):  In this short clip, a fifth-generation farmer and second-generation dairy farmer from West Virginia speaks about his cows--and his award for outstanding conservation efforts. 
Air Flow:  This pig management expert explains the science behind correct ventilation tactics inside pig houses.
Beef Sustainability:  Continuous improvement is the focus of a newly released U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework. It calls on all sectors of the beef industry to work toward a set of established metrics.       
jamaican streamer-tailed hummingbird_ 
Eating in Flight (video):  Beautiful Jamaican streamer-tailed hummingbirds fly and get "hand fed."
Blueprint for Animal Genomics:  The USDA announced a new vision for animal genomics, with a blueprint that sets goals for the next 10 years.
Egg Production:  An egg company's survey analyzes trends, statistics, and predictions.     

 Food Science and Safety News
choco collage_ and
Chocolate News: A Swiss company is rolling out ruby chocolate, a natural shade made from special cocoa beans. Also, Hershey's has a new design featuring emojis. 
Farm-fresh Food in Space? (video):  This update to an article from last week features the new NASA experiment called Veg-PONDS 02--a chance for astronauts to raise a variety of food in space.      
Diet and Cancer:  A new study examines the association between suboptimal consumption of seven types of food and specific cancers. Poor diet is apparently on par with alcohol, excessive body weight, and physical activity for influencing cancer rates.          
Tech, Robots, and Food:  According to this report, the use of machines drives down the costs of keeping food fresh, and it increases productivity    
Meat Man:  A Mississippi State assistant professor goes by several names--the educated butcher, the meat chemist, and the meat man--but whatever the moniker, his passion is educating others about meat products. 
The "Mad-science" World of Fermentation:  This professional fermentation chef turns food waste into kimchi and more.         
Does This Processed Food Make Me Look Fat?  This study says that ultra-processed foods are key contributors to weight gain  
veggie sign and bacon,      
The Star of the Show:  Bacon was the star ingredient in about 40 different dishes served during each of three tasting sessions that were part of the 11th Annual Baconfest Chicago.  
It's the Texture (video):  North Carolina State experts say the best way to wash your produce depends on the texture of the food.
Plant Agriculture and Environmental News 
genome sequence millet_
Scientists sequenced and mapped the genome of proso millet--essential to raising yields of the drought-resistant crop in the Nebraska Panhandle and other semiarid regions.   
Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree (video):  Dedicated scientists and students developed a nonpatented, blight-resistant American chestnut tree. They focused on genetic engineering as a way to bring back the beloved tree. 
Comparative Analysis for Crops:  This analysis commissioned by the American Sugarbeet Growers Association examines the similarities and differences among crop protection tools for various types of farming practices.  
Practices for the Long Term:  This article looks at science-based farming practices that can buffer farmers from climate damage and help make their operations more resilient and sustainable.  
Tariffs Might Have Garlic Breath:  U.S. garlic growers might actually profit from a trade war that leaves other farmers struggling. 
robot field equip_ 
I, Robot Farmer:  Robots are taking over farms faster than anyone saw coming. The first fully autonomous farm machines are becoming commercially availableand will be able to take over a multitude of tasks.      
Robots Versus Weeds:  If robots can pick strawberries, maybe they can get rid of weeds, too. A handful of companies are working on it.   
International News   
Many families in India face challenging  
Creative Mud Mucking (video):  This farmer "MacGyvered" a way to get a stuck tractor out of the mud.
All Cows on Deck:  The world's first floating dairy farm--based in the port at Rotterdam in the Netherlands--will sell milk and be used as an educational tool. 
Aussie Beef:  Due to African swine fever, China's rapidly declining pork supply has some consumers turning to beef, and Australian suppliers are seeing a booming demand.
Carbon, Fizzy Water, and Rocks:  Iceland vowed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030, but it faces challenges. Scientists have come up with a method that might take advantage of the country's geothermal sources.   
Swine Fever in Vietnam:  Reports indicate that African swine fever has shown up in most areas of Vietnam.      
bullet train_ 
Alfa-X Bullet Train:  Japan's next-generation bullet train has gone into testing. It is expected to have a maximum speed of 400 kmh (248 mph).        
Software and Sugarcane Genes:  Brazilian researchers developed a program for high-performance computers to map specific portions of plant DNA faster and less expensively.     
General Interest News
howling cow ice cream_
North Carolina State is the home of Howling Cow ice cream, and proceeds from the licensing agreement help fund student scholarships and dairy initiatives.
Arctic Farmer (video):  In the most northerly town on Earth, this farmer hopes to grow vegetables more sustainably.           
Farm Equipment Evolution (video):  The John Deere Company has gone through 175 years of development.       
Six-step Plan for Agriculture:  The mission of the Good Growth Plan is to improve the sustainability of agriculture and business through six commitments to be achieved by 2020.       
Organic Food Study:  A University of California study claims that eating organically grown food for just one week can significantly reduce the levels of pesticideswithin the body.
geothermal in nevada_ 
Heating It Up:  With help from University of Nevada-Reno experts, geothermal power potential in the state is heating up. Geologists are using a previously untried method to find resources.   
Crops for Change:  The Ohio State Student Farm Organization is an opportunity for students interested in urban farming to combine food and service
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
* Cal Poly State University 
* 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                                   
* Bayer  
* National Cattlemen's Beef Association, a Contractor to the Beef Checkoff 
* 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
* Tuskegee University
* Tyson Foods    
* United Soybean Board  
* University of Nevada-Reno  
* Weed Science Society of America  
* Western Society of Weed Science
CAST, through its network of experts, assembles, interprets, and communicates credible, balanced, science-based information to 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 Agricultural and Technical 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  
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 (Kimberly)
**  With assistance from Carol Gostele and Megan Wickham (both are Managing Scientific Editors)  

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


Each year, NAAE recognizes six outstanding agricultural educators who serve as mentors at the local, state, and national levels. These teachers go beyond their duties as classroom teachers and help their colleagues, as well as budding agriculture teachers, develop professionally and create thriving, noteworthy programs.


With the goal of positive growth for agricultural education in mind, these mentors task themselves with many different jobs to help new and aspiring teachers grow, learn, and establish a positive career environment. From phone calls, face-to-face meetings, regular emails, and social media, these mentors go above and beyond the expectations of agriculture teachers. Many of them help to rebuild programs, assist with classroom instruction, and provide feedback while visiting new teachers in their states. Some of them work directly with student teachers and use their leadership roles to make connections with new teachers who they reach out to and offer their support.


Each of these teachers work diligently to empower new teachers and teachers who need new motivation to keep their programs growing. Without great mentors like these, agricultural education would not be able to make the great strides it does each year.


Want to know more about the 2018 Teacher Mentor 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 Teacher Mentor award is sponsored by CEV Multimedia, as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.


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


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


Are you looking for some great instructional resources to help wind down the school year? Thanks to Growth Energy, as a special project of the National FFA Foundation and the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), there are now 15 days of instructional materials available to help guide your students through the advancing technologies in the world of ethanol production and renewable fuels.


Included in this package of instructional materials are six activities which focus on the following concepts:


  • Industry, innovation, and technology led to the development of starch-based ethanol.
  • Ethanol plants use fermentation to convert corn into biofuels and animal feed products.
  • The United States government developed the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program with the intent of reducing greenhouse gases, increasing renewable fuel production, and decreasing dependence on foreign oil.
  • Biofuels provide consumers with energy choices that can improve rural economies and benefit the environment.
  • Advancing technologies are used to convert cellulosic components of corn into ethanol.


These instructional resources are a natural addition to many agricultural education courses, including natural resources and ecology, environmental science, crop science, agricultural power, and others.


To access these free instructional materials including the lesson plan, six activities, PowerPoint, and assessment visit NAAE’s Communities of Practice website at this link.

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


NAAE Members,

The school year is basically over and our batteries have run down, our minds are exhausted, and our patience has been pushed to the limits. Why do we do what we do every day if it’s so draining on us? The love for our students and the need to help our students succeed in life with the best education possible is what many, if not all, would say. Great ag teachers truly love what they do as educators and always have the desire to see their students succeed in life.

Now, let’s take a moment to talk about us, as teachers. We need to always be interested in professional development training and how we can gain more knowledge in order to better meet the needs of our students. Every summer, not only does your state offer professional development training, but the NAAE also offers regional professional development training. Professional development helps us get primed for upcoming school year, and gives our students more opportunities to learn and succeed. Professional development helps us to be better trained and informed on the latest innovations, technology, and teaching methods for the upcoming year.

You will also find that as you attend these summer NAAE conferences you will grow your network of friends. You will find out that ag teachers are pretty much the same type of down-to-earth individuals, no matter what state they are from. You will also see how we all want the best for our students. When I say, “we want our students to do their best,” I mean the more knowledge we gain as teachers, the more knowledge we can pass on to our students.

I cannot encourage you enough to take part in the professional development workshops that will be offered during the NAAE summer regional meetings. Our first workshop and professional development training will take place in Region 1 and starts next week. Please visit your region on the NAAE website to find out the latest in scheduling and updates.


NAAE Regional Conference Locations and Dates:

Region I Fairbanks, Alaska May 20th – 24th
Region II St. Francisville, Louisiana June 17th - 20th
Region III Mitchell, South Dakota June 17th – 19th
Region IV Ann Harbor, Michigan June 25th – 27th
Region V Charleston, South Carolina June 24th – 26th
Region VI Roanoke, Virginia July 21st – 25th

For other professional training opportunities please click on the quick link below:


Staff Update:

1. We are excited to have Sarah Warren, who is our new NAAE Meeting Planner/Program Assistant. 
Sarah is a product of agricultural education. She was a NAAE student teaching scholarship recipient in 2016. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and just completed her Master’s degree in community and leadership development (which is the department that includes agricultural education) at the University of Kentucky. She is a certified agriculture teacher and she is certified in the CASE Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Course. She did her student teaching at the Kentucky School for the Deaf and her Masters degree thesis is titled: “DeaFFA: An Exploration of Agricultural Education in Schools for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.”
She started full-time on Monday, May 13, 2019. 


2. NAAE Communications/Marketing Specialist: NAAE is in search of applicants for the NAAE Communications/Marketing Specialist position. If you know of someone interested please share the following information with them from the link below.

3. 2019 NAAE Award Judges Needed: If you or you know of someone wanting to judge applications please go to the NAAE website and fill out the application or click the link below to take you to the application:

4. 2019 NAAE Convention for this fall in Anaheim, California
• Link for the convention information:
• 2019 NAAE Convention Workshop Proposals:

Have a great summer, and don’t forget to get primed with some professional development for the upcoming year,




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


Conservation practices and sustainability are at the forefront of hot topics in the agriculture industry. It is imperative that our students become informed consumers, so that they can make the best decisions for the future of our planet. As agriculture teachers, it is our job to make sure we teach our students curriculum that develops the knowledge and skills our students need to do just that.


The National FFA Foundation has partnered with the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) to provide teachers with a week-long lesson focused on agriculture conservation practices with support from Midwest Row Crop Collaborative (MRCC) members. These agricultural education instructional materials and programmatic deployment comes after a larger marketing campaign in grocery stores focused on connecting consumer purchases to the support of farmers and agricultural education.


These instructional materials focus on teaching the concept: “Conservation practices can contribute towards enhanced sustainability without reducing yield by enhancing the efficiency of inputs and reducing or making use of outflows.”


As you look for ways to enhance your curriculum, you will find that these instructional materials are a natural addition to many agricultural education courses including, but not limited to, plant science, soil science, crop science, natural resources and ecology, environmental science, and others. Many teachers have already used these exercises in their classrooms with great results.


“My students are now engaged in the concepts of sustainability,” said Jacob Hunter, agriculture teacher at North Scott High School, Iowa. “As a teacher of mostly non-traditional agriculture students, this was a way for me to help them understand that farmers take actions to protect the environment and that there is a science behind their decisions. Additionally, my students organically drew connections to the Dust Bowl. The lesson also encouraged them to think about where our soil leaves us in our county.”


Each exercise allows students the opportunity to collaborate with their peers, think critically, and problem-solve as they research and learn about the importance of conservation and sustainability.


“The students really enjoyed this lesson,” said Toni Gabriel, agriculture teacher at Genoa-Kingston High School, Illinois. “I tied it in to my soils unit and it was a great fit. The lesson allowed us to have a great conversation about fertilization. It also helped my students understand the importance of the 4 R's.”


Interested in learning more about these great instructional materials? Visit NAAE’s Communities of Practice website at this link for more information and to access these free resources today!



This is a feature from the April 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 postsecondary agriculture programs with the Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Program award. This award is designed to showcase exemplary postsecondary institutions and full-time young farmer and adult agricultural education programs from across the nation.


The 2018 award recipients were selected based upon the high-quality and diverse programming they offer postsecondary students or members of their local communities. From young farmer associations to community colleges and four-year institutions, each of these programs devote an exceptional amount of time to personal and professional development, in addition to the instruction they provide.  


The selected programs offer agricultural instruction to those who are interested in furthering their knowledge and careers in agriculture. Whether by staying updated with new advancements in farming technology, to entering the classroom as an agriculture teacher, these programs offer opportunities to all who are invested in agriculture.


Many of the programs partner with local businesses and agriculture industry partners to provide students with a variety of internships and work-based experience projects. Other programs focus on providing their students with professional development, networking, and certifications in the agriculture industry.  


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 Postsecondary Agriculture Program award is sponsored by Bayer as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. 




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


The spring and summer months are full of professional development opportunities for agricultural educators.  As I think back on my own career, some of my favorite professional development has come from regional conferences.  


The cool thing about our regional conferences is that many of them are within driving distance. Those that aren't are still relatively short flights away from home. When I think back to the great experiences I've had at regional conferences, I can identify three major benefits of attending.


First, I've made great friendships and built wonderful relationships with teachers across the region. Building this network has given me access to experts in many different areas of agricultural education. Although the states in our regions are relatively close in proximity to each other, there is still a stunning degree of diversity from state to state. Knowing people with different experiences has improved my program here at home.


Second, regional conferences have allowed me to see how other state associations function. Learning about the different professional development and advocacy programs offered by other states has been very enlightening.


Finally, I have benefited from the professional development. Yearly, I share with my students the stories of places I've been and things I've seen at regional conferences. The experiences I've had on professional development tours have enriched my teaching by giving me great stories and photos to share.  


Sign up for your regional conference!  You'll be glad you did!


Speaking of big impacts, I would like to thank the NAAE staff for the work they do on our behalf. I would especially like to thank Katie Wood for her service to the association. Katie has decided to move home to Washington. We wish her and her family well.  


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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!


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