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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 the CAST organization.

In This Issue...... Click to Read
Campuses Are Buzzing--P. 2
Animal Agriculture News
Food Science and Safety News
Plant and Environment News
International News
General Interest News
Ag/Science Societies


At the Roots of CAST's 
History and Mission

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology was organized in 1972, and by 1978 thecast collage societiesgroup had grown to a consortium of 25 food and agriculture science societies. Charles A. Black was a primary founder, the first president, and the "moving spirit" of CAST. As chairman of a five-member committee, Dr. Black was charged with pursuing the idea of "an independent association of the agricultural science societies." Dr. Black was a lifelong advocate of the role of science in public policy decision making. Check out more about CAST's history here.



  Annual Meeting


The American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America will host more than 4,000 scientists, professionals, educators, and students at the 2016International Annual Meeting, "Resilience Emerging from Scarcity and Abundance," Nov. 6-9, 2016, in Phoenix, Arizona.



   Big Data Summit  



The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is convening a summit to identify the frontiers and future of data in agriculture and build on existing U.S. government-wide efforts and investments in Big Data--October 10-12, with live streaming available.



The Cornell Alliance for Science is anew communications initiative with the overarching mission of promoting access to scientific innovation as a means of enhancing food security, improving environmental sustainability, and raising the quality of life globally.



  Happy Labor Day  


40 horse hitch
Celebrate at a record-setting paradewith 40 horses, a circus wagon, and a determined man.


CAST Social Media  

CAST block logo originalClick here forlinks to CAST sites: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, videos, and blogs.



September 2, 2016


  Lasting Effects
The sun never really sets on the Farm Progress Show



The bustle at the Farm Progress site may have faded along with the beautiful Midwest sunset on September 1, but the buzz will live on. Attendees left with new ideas, varied insights about food production, and, of course, an array of promotional bags and caps. The official website provides an overview, and plenty of media reports are available in print and online. While the "Star Wars-like" autonomous tractor may have garnered much of the attention, other more immediate issues dominated the presentation tents--from crop yields and water quality to butterfly habitats. The following links provide a small sampling:

**After a brief overview of the show, this clip features a look at the famous "driver-less tractor."


**This article examines some of the water quality issues that were discussed, debated, and analyzed at the gathering. 


**Attendees were greeted at the front gate by the "Living Acres Butterfly Garden," a plot planted this year with milkweeds to provide habitat for monarch butterflies. Information and interviews are available at this site.




News and Views




**Drones and Regs:  A new era in agriculture opened as the Federal Aviation Administration's new regulations for routine nonrecreational use of small unmanned aircraft, or drones, went into effect.  


**TPP on Back Burner? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will not vote on President Barack Obama's signature Asian trade deal this year, punting it to the next president for changes and consideration.

**TTIP on Ice? France reportedly wants to end TTIP negotiations, a German official said the talks have "de facto failed," and the deal's biggest supporter, Britain, has voted to leave the EU.

**Toxic Algae and Water Quality:
  Serious algae outbreaks have hit more than 20 states this summer. Organisms are shutting down beaches in Florida, sickening swimmers in Utah, and threatening ecosystems in California.


**Kenyan-born, Cornell-educated Dr. Andrew Mude Honored: The World Food Prize announced the winner of the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application. Dr. Andrew Mude is recognized for his work in developing insurance for never-before-insured communities whose livelihoods depend on herding cattle, goats, sheep, and camels in the remote areas of the Horn of Africa.


   News from the Far Side of the Barn


chili pepper,


Hurts so good.
Surfing Goats (video):  Goatee was an accomplished surfer--for a goat. And then her son Pismo came along. 


Photo Food Fail (video):  In case your partner is obsessed with taking an Instagram photo of every meal, here's how to perform photo fail.  

Really Feeling the Burn:
  This site looks at the origins of hot, spicy chicken--three days, three Nashville restaurants, and three revelations about why we love what hurts.



  University Ag Programs


Research, Knowledge, Instruction





food fight belushi


There is more to university life than just hanging out at the cafeteria--ag research, science projects, and many activities.
Most university campuses are back in session, and even though the Labor Day weekend might give some a needed break, agriculture and science programs never really rest. The research, the discussions, and the learning continue full tilt--and these links lead to a few examples of what is happening at some of America's finest schools. More links with university connections are available throughout Friday Notes sections--this week and all year round. Note: university staff and students are encouraged to send key links or blogs for Friday Notesconsideration (


**As the new regulations for commercial operations of small unmanned aircraft systems take effect, a Kansas State program is assisting the FAA with potential next steps in the rule-making process.  


**University of Florida researchers are working to find a cure or develop resistant varieties for a virus that is attacking sugarcane and sorghum throughout the Everglades agricultural region.


**North Carolina State students get real-world experience by doing projects such as designing a bioretention cell to capture and treat polluted storm water. 


**This Ohio State University associate says drones could improve agriculture, but farmers need to know the rules before they try to use the technology.


**The Bonanza Cut, a new specialty steak, was unveiled by this meat science professor at the University of Nevada-Reno.


**Researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment brought in arecord amount of grant awards from outside sources during the past fiscal year.


World Food Day Video Challenge



As an example of involvement and communication, the University of California-Davis is sponsoring a World Food Day video challenge--student produced videos of the top-notch research happening across campuses.Students of all levels enrolled at a UC campus for the fall 2016 quarter can submit videos--three minutes or less. The stories must cover UC research or research programs related to the second goal of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to "end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture."


Globe (TopLatestNews)

Friday Notes News Categories

Photos courtesy of the Agricultural Research Service (top masthead); TopLatest News (globe at right). P. 1 parade pic from and, Farm Progress Show pic from, and, and; drone pic from farm futures.jpg; and pepper pic from cosmicchile.jpg. P. 2 Belushi pic from homevideos.jpg. Animal Sec. reindeer pic from Food Sec. Colbert pic from bacon_bustle.jpg. Plant Sec. biofuel pic from Inter. Sec. Dora pic from Gen. Sec. park pic from Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of the USDA Agricultural Research Service.    

   Baby Chicks

   Animal Agriculture and Environmental News

Honoring Pig Farmers:  The National Pork Board has announced the four finalists who are vying to become 2016 America's Pig Farmer of the Year.  


Ranching and Wetlands Can Go Together (video opinion):  This site shows that in some cases, restoring wetlands can be good for wildlife and fish, as well as the ranching operation itself.

reindeer_ jezebel.comLightning Strike Tragedy:  More than 300 wild reindeer were killed after they were struck by lightning at a nature park in southern Norway. The deaths were linked to a thunderstorm that battered the area.


Lightning Strikes Twice (video--related to above):  Nineteencows are dead in east Texas after lightning struck the tree they were standing underneath during the storm.


Chicken Popularity--Something to Crow About:  A nugget, a Canadian, and a mail-order mishap all speak to the wild journey of chicken's entrance into mainstream America.


Before the Colonel (video--related to above): This one-minute clip looks at the history of fried chicken.


Hornless Cattle and Enviropigs (opinion):  According to this article, biotech animals have shown much promise, but they wait in the wings because of sustained opposition.  


Avian Influenza Update:  For the first time in 14 months, the bird disease that killed 50 million chickens and turkeys last year has been detected in the United States--in a wild duck in Alaska.             


Beef Masters: Several years ago, the Beef Checkoff, concerned that good communications was becoming a long-lost art, launched the Masters of Beef Advocacy program.



Salmonella (FSIS)

   Food Science and Safety News

Ramen Is the New Tobacco (video):  Instant ramen is tasty, easy to cook, cheap, and nonperishable. And now it is the preferred underground currency inmates use in prisons.

Food Safety Investigation:  Utah Department of Health officials are investigating nine cases of Salmonellainfection in people who reported drinking raw milk.


Another Food Concern: Fifty people in five states are confirmed with Hepatitis A infections in an outbreak associated with frozen strawberries.


Safety Problem in Paradise, Too:  Victims of a Hepatitis A outbreak linked to imported, frozen scallops served raw in Hawaii continue to be identified, with state officials reporting 241 people now confirmed with infections.


Pass the Olive Oil:  A new study indicates that the Mediterranean diet may help heart problems--but more research is necessary to confirm this.


"They tell us not to smoke; they tell us not to eat bacon. So I'll smoke bacon." S. Colbert
Bacon Bits--of Information:  An Iowa State University extension meat specialist explains how bacon gets to market, what shelf-stable bacon is about, and how to store bacon at home.      


Kid Power:  The parents might bring home the bacon, but the kids often pick the brand. Children have a disproportionate sway over household grocery purchases and decisions--and food marketers know it. 


Ugly Is Just Fine (video):  According to this foodie, when it comes topicking produce at the grocery store, don't judge a book by its cover.



Nine Weird Restaurants:  The food is the least of our concerns as wevisit odd restaurants--swinging from cranes and eating in converted Italian high-security prisons.  






   Plant Agriculture and Environmental News

The Incredible Blueberry Picking Machine (video):   This handheld "berry mower" seems to be a helpful piece of equipment


Soil Health:  Data and case examples are clear--healthy soil is critical for long-term agricultural production. As FDR said, "A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself."  


Healthy Remedies? (related to above):  This soil expert looks at positive changes in production if growerscombine no-till and cover crops. And this article encourages the growing of pulses to help soil quality.  


Any chance we could use noxious weeds like Palmer amaranth?
Biofuels Thumbs Up (opinion):  High octane fuels, specifically mid-level ethanol blends (E25-E40), could offer significant benefits, according to a new study by the Energy Department. 

Biofuels Thumbs Down (opinion):  Ethanol groups blasted a study that says biofuels created from crops such as corn or soybeanscause the emission of more climate change-causing carbon dioxide than gasoline. 

Weed Problems:  Farmers say herbicide resistance is a growing problem--costing time, money, and management. Problem weeds include hemp, ragweed, morning glory, Palmer amaranth, and mares tail. 


Herbicide Resistance (related to above):  CAST Issue Paper #49--Herbicide-resistant Weeds Threaten Soil Conservation Gains: Finding a Balance for Soil and Farm Sustainability.

The Baffling World of Tomato Prices (opinion):  This writer looks at why the price of tomatoes at the farmers market or grocery store can seem mysteriously random.  


Sticking with It:  Researchers find a way to make pesticides stick to leaves instead of bouncing off--by using a clever combination of two inexpensive additives to the spray.


Not an Egg, But It Is a Plant--and a Popular One in Many Places:  One of the amazing success stories of genetic engineering is the eggplant, known as the brinjal in Asia and the aubergine in Europe. 

  World and Plug (SFGate)

  International News  

How Much Do You Tip a Drone (video):  These New Zealanders received a Domino's pizza order from anexperimental drone delivery



dory and fish_


Hi Mom, Hi Dad. I remembered to forget about not remembering. 
Finding Dory--in the Amazon: For the past 50 years, this Amazon jungle outpost has been the epicenter of a unique trade--harvesting millions of colorful tropical fish destined for home aquariums the world over.  


GMO Public "Acceptance":  China's agriculture ministry said it would back new laws on genetically modified food labeling "at a suitable time" as it seeks to assuage public concerns over safety.


China Production Challenges: Producing pigs in China can be a challenge for even the best producers--issues include health, management, feed, and more.  


Detecting a Pulse:  Australian farmers are set to churn out record harvests of pulses such as chickpeas and lentils after they rushed to take advantage of surging prices due to shortages in India. 


African Ag and Youth: Japan agencies and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization are teaming up to make agriculture attractive and profitable for young people in sections of Africa.


Sows and Housing: This Australian pig producer says "loose housing" methods during farrowing and lactation pose challenges and provide benefits.

Hoping for a Thousand Splendid Suns:  In this lush farm belt deep in central Afghanistan, women have been the organizing force behind a new wave of small village farm unions.

  General Interest News

Extreme Makeover in the Crab Housing Market (video):  Hermit crabs swapping shells turns into a complicated scene that includes fights, negotiations, and one new owner with buyer's remorse.  


Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (opinion):

California's new groundwater law leaves


Chillin' and stylin' as they wait for Yellowstone's

Old Faithful to blow.

unanswered questions, according to this article.
National Park Centennial--Follow-up:  These cool photos come from the National Park Service'sdigitalized historic archives.


Seeking Cooler Climates (opinion):  This interactive map shows where animals will migrateas the globe warms.




Drought Impacts:  The drought continues for California's agriculture in 2016--but with fewer severe impacts than in the two previous drought years, 2014 and 2015, according to UC-Davis research.


Water Conservation and Happy Sheep:  The extended drought in California has farmers looking for ways to use less water. Some grow feed indoors using hydroponics--and this makes these Central Valley sheep very happy.  


Cry Wolf:  Wildlife agents--authorized to eradicate a group of 11 wolves for repeated attacks on cattle in Washington state--have hunted down and killed six animals from the condemned pack.


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 Kent Schescke ( Instead, please encourage your colleagues to join CAST and thereby become eligible for all membership benefits. Contact Colleen Hamilton at 515-292-2125, ext. 224 or, orCLICK 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 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

* California Dairy Research Foundation                                        

* Council of Entomology Department Administrators  

* Croplife America 

* Crop Science Society of America                                                                      

* DuPont Pioneer 

* Elanco Animal Health

* Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy                                  

* Monsanto                                                                                    

* National Pork Board

* North Carolina Biotechnology Center      

* North Central Weed Science Society

* Northeastern Weed Science Society                             

* Poultry Science Association                                                   


* Society for In Vitro Biology
* Soil Science Society of America                         


* 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.  

Members of CAST's Education Program



* Cal Poly
* Cornell University
* Iowa State University 

* Kansas State University  

* Mississippi State University

* North Carolina State University  

* Texas A&M University College of Ag & Life Sciences  

* The Ohio State 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 Nebraska Agricultural Research Division                                     

* University of Nevada


Note: WinField Solutions (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) 


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),  Mikayla Dolch (Student Administrative Assistant), and Hannah Pagel (Student Administrative Assistant) 


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