Andrea Fristoe

CAST Friday Notes -- 9/1/2017

Blog Post created by Andrea Fristoe on Sep 1, 2017



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
Society Member Feature: The Philadelphia Story--P. 2
Animal Agriculture News
Food Science and Safety News
Plant and Environment News
International News
General Interest News
Membership Offer


Click here for more details, and check this site for an online membership application form.



Farm Safety


National Farm Safety and Health Week--September 17-23--recognizes the importance of protecting agriculture's most precious resource--its people. 



   Biotech Conference


gene_ ncbiotech.orgThe Genetic Editing in Agricultural Biotechnology Roundtable will be hosted by the American Bar Association and the American Agricultural Law Association--in conjunction with CAST--on October 24 at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in the Research Triangle Park. 


Ag Teaching Resources

USFRA and Discovery Education teamed up to offer free lesson plans and online resources to teachers. 


Managing Global Resources

Sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America, this Oct. 22 meeting in Tampa will feature a speech by Catherine Woteki.


  National Science Foundation


These North Carolina State students learned about the research process by doing hands-on projects.


  Pivoting the GMO Conversation

The latest in the series of Food Dialogues will take place Sept. 6 on the Univ. of Nebraska campus.    



CAST Social Media


Click here for links to CAST sites: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, videos, and blogs. 
September 1, 2017


Disasters Affect Urban Centers,   


Food, and Agriculture



A focus on flooding in the USA and around the world 




flooding_ and


Floods are devastating areas of 

the United States, Asia, and Africa.

Hurricane Harvey and subsequent storms have affected thousands in the disaster zone--rescue and recovery are foremost, and many are working to help. This blog provides links to various storm-related articles--including coverage of farmers, ranchers, and agriculture workers who are desperate to save livestock, crops, and food infrastructure. 


A Global Concern

Floods in South Asia have killed at least 1,200; the Indian city of Mumbai has been inundated; and flooding in Niger, Africa, has forced thousands out of their homes.    



News and Views




Who Do You Trust?  The Center for Food Integrity released research showing that--when it comes to food-related issues--consumers trust family doctors and family members the most, followed closely by several other groups including scientists and farmers.    



Ag Research Funding:  In the article "The Looming Decline of the Public Research University," the author bemoans cuts in research funding that have left midwestern state schools--and the economies they support--struggling to survive.


Science Breakthroughs 3000:  Experts from a wide range of academic disciplines have launched an ambitious search for the most probable breakthroughs in agricultural research that could produce dividends for humankind over the next dozen years.


Annual Farm Progress Show:  More than 100,000 people visited Decatur, Illinois, during the three days of the Farm Progress Show--a chance to celebrate agriculture. On day two, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and others focused on agriculture policy.


News from the Far Side of the Barn 






send cow to college_


Moo U? This Ohio State Buckeye lists five ways cows live better than college students.
Flood and Fire (video):  Sharknado-type photos from Hurricane Harvey have been debunked, but it is true that fire ants have concocted "rafts" and stayed afloat. This article (with an informative video near the bottom) explains how these insects engineer such feats.


Hey You, Call--Ya Dig? (video):  The Peterson Brothers are at it again, but this clip is really more about safety on the farm.     


Bovine Identity Crisis (video): This pet cow had delusions of being a dog, but its best friend is a cat.   




Societies Are a Key to CAST's Success


This Philadelphia Ag Society Would Make Ben Franklin Proud



The Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture is the oldest agricultural society in the United States--playing a key role in developing many of the farming methods and institutions responsible for our modern food system. Since its development in 1785, it has been promoting science in agriculture while working to generate a productive dialogue among its members, the agricultural community, and the general public.



This statement from a society member demonstrates the group's connection with CAST:


"In our early days as a country there was no USDA, no land grant college or state extension system. Societies like ours played a crucial role in promoting better practices for cultivating the land and producing crops and livestock. Today we are fortunate in having a highly developed food system that enables one farmer to provide food for more than155 people, but the challenge continues as we need to produce more from less land to feed the world's increasing population. Science must continue to play a critical role in developing crops and livestock with more sustainable farming practices. While societies such as ours are no longer directly involved in this critical work, we still need to promote the best science; and we do so each month with our meetings featuring scientific talks in agriculture and the food system. Several of our members commented that they have used CAST reports in their professional lives and greatly value the work that your organization does. CAST continues to provide our members with a valuable connection to the broader fields of science in agriculture. Our Executive Committee voted unanimously to continue our support of CAST."


Duncan A. Allison--PSPA Past President and CAST Individual Member


Globe (TopLatestNews)

Friday Notes News Categories

Photos courtesy of the Agricultural Research Service (top masthead); TopLatest News (globe at right). P. 1 flood collage from and, gene pic from, and cow pic from Animal Sec. fair pic from Food Sec. cartoon from cafepress.jpg. Plant Sec. farmer pic from Inter. Sec. cow pic from Gen. Sec. hedgehog pic from Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of the USDA Agricultural Research Service.    

   Baby Chicks

   Animal Agriculture and Environmental News



Showing livestock at the fair is a wonderful experience for youngsters, but the "final goodbye" can be bittersweet.
Scan All Vertebrates (video):  During the next four years, a new 3D scanning campaign will reveal more than 20,000 vertebrate specimens in stunning detail.



The Versatile Pig (video):  This clip from several years ago shows the amazing number of pork products used in everyday life--from toothpaste to paint to heart valves.    



A Day in the Life (video):  To get a better sense of what life is like for a broiler chicken, this clip takes you inside a typical chicken farm


Beef in the Brave New Consumer World (opinion): The beef industry must adapt to a new reality, where Amazon and other mega companies will heavily influence consumers--think online, drones, and product selections.   


Milk Is Milk (opinion):  The National Milk Producers Federation contends that foods labeled "milk" must come from an animal.



The Other Milk? (opinion--see above): The Good Food Institute wants the use of "common names that consumers recognize" (such as soymilk) to describe plant-based milk, cheese, and yogurt names.



Pork Safety:  A Texas biotech business plans to unveil an approach that bolsters the meat industry's ability to stop pork tainted with dangerous foodborne pathogens from reaching consumers.  


Slippery Salmon:  Thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon escaped in the Pacific Northwest. This raises concerns from environmentalists worried about pollution and diseases from the farmed fish.  


Salmonella (FSIS)

   Food Science and Safety News


Food Illiteracy (video and opinions):  The Food Literacy and Engagement Poll indicates that much of the U.S. public remains disengaged or misinformed about food--this includes a link to a satiric John Oliver video.



barbecue pic,


Two men are on a quest to find
the soul of barbecue in Charleston.
Food Costs and Health (opinion):  What does research show about food costs? If produce were cheaper, would we all eat better? 



Project Canaan:  Hundreds of orphans across Switzerland are receiving much-needed high-quality egg protein.   




Food Recalls:  From May through June there were 178 food recalls of FDA-regulated products in the United States. How does that compare with previous statistics? 


Reading a Label:  These examples of chemical compounds included in everyday products show some of the benefits they provide.


Hollow-heart Watermelons:  Next time you're craving watermelon for your late summer picnic, don't be afraid--it's just science working its magic.



World's Oldest Edible Ham:  Microbiologists say this 115-year-old piece of pork--with a nonstop, live-streamed 'ham cam' and Twitter account--is technically still edible.




   Plant Agriculture and Environmental News


farmer_ field_ drone_


This farmer explains how a drone's-eye view makes field scouting better.

Corn Archaeology:  This Texas A&M professor says recently uncovered ancient maize (corn) reveals clues about early farming--more than 4,000 years ago.


Dicamba and the EPA (opinion):  This article says there have been 2,400 formal dicamba complaints and 3.1 million acres of soybeans affected.



Labels Need to be Followed (opinion): Chemical producers say dicamba labels are accurate and more education about following the instructions is essential.


Wheat, Corn, and Rising Temps:  This study says staple crops like corn and wheat--a large proportion of the world's calories and U.S. farmers' output--will likely see negative impacts from rising global temperatures.


Chickpeas in Wheat Country?  With a global grain glut under way, this year U.S. farmers planted the fewest acres of wheat since the USDA began keeping records nearly a century ago. 


Crop Residue Exchange Tool:  A new online tool from the Nebraska Extension Office aims to connect farmers and cattle producers to encourage mutually beneficial agreements to use crop residue for grazing. 

  World and Plug (SFGate)

  International News  



Every year in September, thousands of cows in the Bavarian Alps are given a royal welcome on their return to the valley.
Freaky Fast--The Flying Version (video):  From sushi to pizza, drone delivery is coming to Iceland.



Hog Production in Germany:  Many think the German government will soon limit the use of sow stalls even more.




More Deadly Than Shark Attacks:  Statistics reinforce the fact that farms are the most dangerous workplace in Australia, and quad bikes (aka ATVs or 4-wheelers) are the most lethal piece of machinery on them.      



Combatting Bird Flu:  The Department of Agriculture in the Philippines is confident they have the recent outbreak of bird flu under control.


Desierto Florio:  Intense and unexpected rain in Chile has brought another desierto florio--desert flowering--to parts of the Atacama.  


Persian Dairies:  The Iranian dairy industry is beginning to expand, as companies are looking to export to countries such as Russia.


  General Interest News

Rat Poison for Your Heart (video):  The lifesaving drug warfarin owes its existence to moldy hay, sick cows, and rat poison. This clip shows how that serendipitous situation occurred. 

mole with tp roll on head_


Some plants and animals reacted to the solareclipse, and some did not. It's safe to say this hedgehog got it all wrong.
Keepin' 'Em on the Farm: Going back to the family farm may be a dream for some, but that doesn't make it a reality. This couple has tried to insure that their children can farm


Who Controls Data? (opinion):  Farmers are doing amazing things with new precision technology, but some worry that "vendor lock-in" could be an issue if farmers lose control of their data systems.  


Fish Fraud Ruling:  A federal plan to combat seafood fraud by requiring the fishing industry to trace their catches from boat or farm to the U.S. border survived a court challenge. Not all agree with the ruling.

Turtles and Salmonella: Of the 37 people confirmed with Salmonella infections from pet turtles, a third are younger than five years old, according to this government report. 



Bambi Would Be Proud:  A young Texas fawn is alive thanks to the efforts of a Texas A&M University veterinarian and her husband who were able to save its life after its mother was fatally injured.  

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, 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 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 

* Croplife America 

* Crop Science Society of America                                                                      

* DuPont   

* Elanco Animal Health
* Entomological Society of America

* Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy
* Land O'Lakes                                  

* Monsanto
* National Corn Growers Association/Iowa Corn Promotion Board
* National Milk Producers Federation                                                                                       

* National Pork Board

* North Carolina Biotechnology Center      

* North Central Weed Science Society

* Northeastern Weed Science Society                             

* Poultry Science Association                                                   


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


* Syngenta Crop Protection
* The Fertilizer Institute
* Tyson Foods   

* United Soybean Board 

* Weed Science Society of America 

* Western Society of Weed Science


CAST assembles, interprets, and communicates credible, science-based information regionally, nationally, and internationally to legislators, regulators, policymakers, the media, the private sector, and the public.  


Members of CAST's Education Program



* Cal Poly
* 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) and Kylie Peterson (Communications and Social Media Specialist)