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Where A Vision Is Started!

Posted by Kevin Stacy Sep 29, 2014

This is the last time I will give you my thoughts about agricultural education and the NAAE as the NAAE president. I find myself reflecting on how and why I became involved in the leadership of our professional organization. Why did anyone ever think I was the person for the job? What is my Vision for this organization and agricultural education?

I want to publicly say thank you to my closest agricultural education family for the support and belief that I have what it takes to lead this organization. To my Oklahoma and Region 2 friends, know it has been my honor to represent you and to carry your message at the national level. To the different board members that served and represented your regions, we may not have always agreed, but we were unified with the outcome. If there is another organization out there that is as close as this group is and always will be, I want to be a part of it also.

My first NAAE conference was over 20 years ago, in Dallas, Texas. I was a young, wide-eyed teacher with an undetermined future as a high school agriculture teacher. Since then, I have attended many NAAE regional and national conferences. During that time, I have seen this group of agriculture teachers and staff work tirelessly to grow this organization. NAAE staff has grown, we are the go-to group to implement and manage agricultural educations programs, we continue to provide more and better ways for teachers to get professional development and resources needed to have a quality agriculture program, and our awards program applicants have improved in quality. It is the vision of members and staff, along with the help of great partners that made all these accomplishments possible.

My Vision is that this organization continues to be member driven, has 100 percent of agricultural education instructors, at all levels of instruction, as members, and is the national voice on all issues of agricultural education.

What is your Vision for this organization? I hope it is more than just paying your membership. My hope is that you become part of the decision making, do the work needed, and put in time and effort to make sure agricultural education continues to be a valued part of the education of our students. I hope you attend your first NAAE conference this year as a wide-eyed, young teacher and 20 years from now have to write the same letter I am writing today. I hope this is the year that you start developing your Vision for agricultural education and your part in making that Vision happen.

See you in Nashville.

Kevin Stacy


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The objective of Friday Notes is 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 the CAST organization.

In This Issue...... Click to Read
New Members Enrich CAST--P.2
Animal Agriculture News
Food Science and Safety News
Plant and Environment News
International News
General Interest News

Farm Progress Show Impressive but Wet 
A CAST blogger looked at the tech, the machines, and the trends of the2014 show--oh yes, and the MUD.

BCCA Event October 15
CAST and DuPont invite you to honor the 2014 Borlaug CAST Communication Award winner on the occasion of the 2014 Borlaug Dialogue hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation.



    Social Media



Click here for access to publicationsCAST social media circle, preziand links to social media--including the popularCAST Catch of the Dayon Facebook.



August 29, 2014


Ag and Ed--A Bountiful Combination


Agriculture has moved under a brighter spotlight, and students realize the growing opportunities--scientific, social, economic.
CAST's mission is to communicate credible information about agriculture, and a key part of that effort is theEducation Program--including our connections with universities and high schools. Scroll down to page two for a look at CAST's education connections including a list of member universities (three new ones this year), the nationwide high school connections, ways teachers and students use CAST material, and some links to university ag-related stories.


News and Views     



** Beating Food Allergies: 



News from the Far Side of the Barn


water witches who typically use divining rods and some sort of practiced intuition to "find" water. Is it science or voodoo in bib overallspig ice cream,


CAST Enriched by New Members

--from Dairy to Academia 

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy Joins CAST


innovation center for us dairy symbolThe Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy joined CAST as a Nonprofit Member on the Board of Representatives. Located in Rosemont, Illinois, the group works collaboratively--with and through industry, academic, government, and commercial partners--to drive precompetitive, technical research in nutrition, products, and sustainability.


According to the center's leadership, they joined because they "share an interest to advance the understanding and use of the science and technology of the production, processing, and utilization of food, especially dairy."  Dr. Juan M. Tricarico will represent the Innovation Center on the CAST Board of Representatives. As CAST EVP Linda Chimenti says, "We welcome Dr. Tricarico and his organization to membership."


Engaged and Talented Students Are the 


Future of Agriculture

student researchers, bayer.comEleven universities belong to CAST's education program, and thousands of high school students (agriculture students and FFA members) have access to CAST information through a grant from WinField (a Land 'O Lakes company)--and thanks to the offices of the NAAE (National Association of Agricultural Educators).

Instructors at some schools have asked about using CAST material and Friday Notes for research projects or class assignments. Individual high school and college students have also contacted us about ag-related research. We encourage this. Our new Ag quickCAST publications available on the website ( have been especially popular as concise, peer-reviewed research documents.

CAST is always interested in young people and their involvement with agriculture. Throughout the year, we will include links to stories about our member universities, and we hope to provide news items and research papers/films that are of use to students.

Our member universities represent the most active, influential ag/science programs in the country. These seven have been with us for two years or more: Kansas State University, Texas A&M University, the University of Arkansas, the University of Nebraska, the University of Florida, Iowa State University, the University of California-Davis, and The Ohio State University.

Three universities have joined us this year:  the University of Kentucky, the University of Nevada, and Mississippi State University.

Check here for the latest agriculture news from the University of Kentucky.

univ of nevada
Check here to access information about agriculture at the University of Nevada.

mississippi st univ
This site provides information from Mississippi State University's agriculture department. 


Globe (TopLatestNews)

Friday Notes News Categories

Photos courtesy of the Agricultural Research Service (top masthead); TopLatest News (globe at right). P.1 Pig pic from P.2 pic of students from Animal Sec. sheep pic from Food Sec. map from Inter. Sec. raft pic from General Sec. pic of kids from Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

   Baby Chicks

   Animal Agriculture and Environmental News


Sheepdogs, Shepherds, and Science (video):  The relationship between a shepherd and his sheepdog hasshepherd and dog, zimbio.comalways seemed almost magical, but scientists now say it can be explained by two simple rules.
Ranchers and Chefs (video): This clip looks at the dynamic between ranchers and chefs, as food experts share the value of working with Angus ranchers.


Finely Textured Comeback:  So-called pink slime is back in a big way, partially because it's cheap. And with a drought gripping the country, this becomes a real factor.   



Corporations and Livestock Standards:  The Nestle Company says it will require the hundreds of thousands of farms that supply its dairy, meat, poultry, and eggs to comply with tighter animal welfare standards. 

Incredible Edibles (opinion): U.S. egg consumption is rising because of health benefits, according to theAmerican Egg Board president.

Mom Always Liked You Best: 
Dairy cows produce more milk for heifers than for baby bulls, according to new research from Kansas State University and Harvard University.

Puppy Rules:  The USDA has approved a regulation that will require all puppies imported to the United Statesbe at least six months old, healthy, and up to date on vaccinations.

Latest "Pig Progress":  This online magazine offers an overview about hog disease outbreaks.

How's Your Cow?  Cows raised on organic and conventional dairy farms show no significant differences in health or in the nutritional content of their milk, according to a USDA-financed study.

Salmonella (FSIS)

   Food Science and Safety News


Multilingual Got Milk (video):  The California Milk Processor Board has unveiled an English- and Spanish-language TV advertising campaign to encourage parents of all ethnicity to buy milk for their children.     


Labels, Dates, and Waste (video): 
In this interview, a professor discusses problems related to expiration dates and the huge problem of food waste.

Flavorful and Nutritious (opinion):  This list from Women's Health provides one version of the ten healthiest food combinations

Junk Food Cycle (opinion and video):  According to this report, more people die from eating too much--and too poorly--than from a lack of food. This site includes a "trendy food news video."

sweets map of usa,
United Sweets of America
The United Sweets of America:  This graphic considers this question: if every state had an official dessert, what would it be? Note that Montana gets S'mores and Florida has key lime pie. 


Making Fruit and Veggies Cool:  Grocers hope toentice youngsters and their parents to the produce aisle by creating kid-focused snacking sections--think fruit tubes, fruit smoothies, and "cool" bags of baby carrots.

Am I Paranoid, Or Is That Truck Following Me?  This coffee truck will follow students through campus at three universities to supposedly capture them at their most decaffeinated times.


Fighting Foodborne Illnesses:  Most people are unaware that all fruits and vegetables should be washed--even those with inedible skins or rinds.

These Living Food Labels Disappear As Your Food Goes Bad:  The gelatin-based Bump Marks reveal thetruth about your food better than a printed label ever could, according to this article. 

The Art of the Burger (photo essay): 
This master of the art of burger blending gives us a guide to making the ultimate custom burger. 


   Plant Agriculture and Environmental News


herb resistant weed
Plants that Spy on Us? (video): Researchers at MIT have discovered a way to turn inanimate objects like potato chips and potted plants into "visual microphones" that can pick up conversations even in a sealed room. 


Resisting the Resistance:
  This graphic shows various methods available to fight weed resistance.

CAST Research (related to above): 
Herbicide-resistant Weeds Threaten Soil Conservation Gains: Finding a Balance for Soil and Farm Sustainability. 
Medicinal Plants--from Dandelion to Catnip (opinion):  This list gives us 17 of the most underrated medicinal plants in the world.


The Big Squeeze:  According to this report, the main reason Florida oranges are down is the scourge of citrus greening, a disease that has affected nearly every orange grove in the state.


Crop Monoculture:  This expert considers whether or not GMOs foster monoculture, and he defines the Corn Belt as an example of a "limited crop rotation."
Invasive Edibles:  Burdock, Japanese knotweed, and garlic mustard are three plants that are invasive and edible.

Biotech in Hawaiian Courts:  Global biotech crop companies won a court victory that blocks enactment of a law passed last year limiting the planting of biotech crops and use of pesticides on the island of Kauai.

Animal-friendly Plants:  This blogger lists six of the best plants/flowers that are nontoxic to pets.


  World and Plug (SFGate)

International News

How To Eat Sushi Properly (video):  This famous sushi chef explains when to use fingers, how to eat ginger, and why the rice is as important as the fish.

Post-Ebola Food Crisis (audio):  In the shadows of West Africa's Ebola outbreak, food shortages are starting to develop.

Not So Sweet:  The U.S. Dept. of Commerce says Mexican sugar subsidies are giving the country's sugar mills an unfair trade advantage, and it imposed duty deposits on their shipments into the United States.



Fingerprints at the Supermarket:  Venezuela's president announces a mandatory--and controversial--fingerprinting system in supermarkets to combat food shortages and smuggling.

pig, man on raft,
A Chinese man rows a makeshift raft toevacuate a pig from a flooded village

Panda Prank: A panda at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Center in China was recently found to be faking a pregnancy to improve her living conditions.



Citrus on the Move: California citrus producers can once againexport their products to China after a 16-month suspension--an import halt supposedly due to brown rot, a soil fungus.

A Shape of Things to Come:  Apparently, square watermelons are the rage in Japan, and they are growing in popularity elsewhere.

Ag among the Canals and Windmills:  Dutch farmers attempt to add sustainability to their enviable productivity, as Dutch scientists, businesses, and government work together closely.

Atomic Boars:
  Although it has
been 28 years since the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, Ukraine, many wild boars in Germany are too radioactive for consumption, according to this report.

Japanese Ag Movement: The Japan Family Farmers Movement is a grassroots political group intent on strengthening Japan's foundation of family farmers and promoting independent development of agriculture. 

  General Interest News


Water Fight in California: A package of bills aimed at regulating drought-parched California's stressed groundwater supplies has come under fire from agricultural interests.   


Top Ten Ag Blogs:  According to this report, these blogs are the ten best in the ag industry.  

Young Choosing Crops Over Cubicles:  Farmers and industry experts agree New England is pushing a trend to produce and buy food locally. New farms are popping up, and many young people are involved.

Drones and the Law:  This Ohio State University professor says farmers should be aware of FAA regulationsbefore launching a drone over their crops to gauge field conditions.

Does Dirt Make You Happy? 
Some bacteria in soil may be helpful in preventing or treating diseases with excess inflammation, according to this site. 
kids in garden, farmtoschoolnetwork
The Hygiene Hypothesis (related to above):  Sometimes germs might be the best medicine.

  Nanotechnology applications are being researched, tested, and in some cases applied across the spectrum of food technology--from agriculture to food processing, packaging, and food supplements.

How Much Is for the Smartphone Bill?  A middle-income family with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend about $245,340 for food, housing, education, and other child-rearing expenses up to age 18, according to the USDA.

Fly Larvae and Mealworm:  Some are looking for an animal feed less expensive than the soybeans and fishmeal typically used today--insects might be the answer.



DC Collage
  Meyers and Associates Report


Fran Boyd

Meyers & Associates

Washington, D.C.

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.


fishing ideas kgtohbuIf you have a good idea for a CAST publication, contact us by clicking HERE for the "Proposal Format and Background Information Form."



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 Linda Chimenti ( Instead, please encourage your colleagues to join CAST and thereby become eligible for all membership benefits.Contact Colleen Hamilton at 515-292-2125, ext. 224 or, or CLICK HERE for CAST membership information.


Societies, Companies, and Nonprofit Organizations

Serving on the CAST Board of Representatives



* 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 Society for Nutrition 

* American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

* American Society of Animal Science 

* American Society of Plant Biologists                                      world supported by plants and animals

* American Veterinary Medical Association

* Aquatic Plant Management Society

* California Dairy Research Foundation                                       

* Council of Entomology Department Administrators 

* Croplife America                                                                      

* DuPont Pioneer

* Elanco Animal Health

* Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy                                                              

* Iowa Soybean Association

* Monsanto                                                                                   

* National Pork Board

* North Central Weed Science Society    

* Northeastern Weed Science Society                            

* Poultry Science Association                                                  

* Society for In Vitro Biology                       

* Syngenta Crop Protection

* United Soybean Board

* Weed Science Society of America

* Western Society of Weed Science

* WinField, a Land O'Lakes Company



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.  

CAST Logo Jan 2010


Dan Gogerty (Managing Communications Editor)

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology

4420 West Lincoln Way

Ames, Iowa  50014-3347

Phone: 515-292-2125, ext. 222; Fax: 515-292-4512; E-mail:

**  With assistance from Carol Gostele (Managing Scientific Editor).   




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