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Andrea Fristoe

The Mark of a Mentor

Posted by Andrea Fristoe Jun 14, 2018

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


HeadShot.jpgAs you browse Communities of Practice, attend your regional conference, or engage in summer professional development opportunities, you are bound to interact with several great mentors in agricultural education. The great thing about our profession is that there is an abundance of people willing to help you – whether you need resources for a lesson, advice on classroom management, or just a listening ear, there is always someone willing to help.


One such mentor is Wesley Anderson, agriculture teacher at Lac Qui Parle Valley High School, in Madison, Minnesota. Over the course of his 35 year teaching career, Anderson has been able to serve as both a formal and informal mentor to numerous agriculture teachers across the state of Minnesota.


“All of my career I have simply helped any ag teacher who needs assistance,” said Anderson. “I have shared my officer handbook and other materials with many instructors. I have teachers call me all the time asking for contacts for various topics and resources.”


Anderson is an open book for budding and seasoned agriculture teachers when it comes to information and tools to help build and improve their programs. However, the topic he most highly regards and stresses to those he mentors is the importance of Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) visits.



“I stress to other teachers how important it is to the parents of our students that a teacher from their child’s school actually comes out to visit them on their turf,” said Anderson. “That in itself sends such a powerful message to the family.”

The home visits are a critical part to Anderson’s program because it allows him to develop a relationship with both his students and their families outside of the classroom. Students who feel that he truly cares about their agricultural endeavors will ultimately be more engaged in the classroom and the program as a whole.


Anderson is also a proponent of the Ag Experience Tracker, which allows him and his students to document and track data for their SAE projects. This online recordkeeping system provides him and his students an in-depth analysis of their SAE projects, which helps them improve and advance their projects with ease. As a teacher, he wants to be fully involved in his students’ projects and provide them with the best tools, resources, and information to help them be successful.


Wesley Anderson was named the 2017 NAAE Region III Teacher Mentor award recipient. This award program is sponsored by CEV Multimedia. For more information about the Teacher Mentor award category and to see the other regional award winners, follow this link.

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


NAAE05web.jpgAs a NAAE member, a great benefit you have access to is Communities of Practice (CoP). This online portal is a professional networking website just for agriculture teachers. From lesson plans to discussion boards, CoP is a great resource to help you build your professional network and teacher toolbox.


If you haven’t accessed CoP before, or if it’s been a while, there are some great new resources available that you might want to be aware of.


First, make sure to check out the Urban Agriculture community. This page was developed by Dr. B. Allen Talbert, Professor, and Alli Lee, Graduate Assistant, of Purdue University as a part of a National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NFA) grant through the SPECA Challenge grant program. From soil lesson plans to content on microgreens, Urban Agriculture has numerous resources that can help you re-charge your plant science curriculum.


While you are browsing CoP, make sure to take a look at what is going on with the Virtual Book Club. A new professional development opportunity offered through NAAE, current and future ag teachers are able to engage with The Wild Card, while simultaneously earning up to 12 hours of professional development credit. Interested in signing up for the book club, but missed the June 11th deadline? Contact Katie Wood and she can help you register and catch up to the group!


Are you a new teacher? Hop on over to the New Teachers community and see what your peers have to say! Find some great interest approach ideas, compare curriculum, or just post a question – this space is a great way to connect with other new teachers who likely have the same questions you do.


These communities are just a few great resources available on Communities of Practice. There are so many more you need to check out to help build and revitalize your curriculum. The best part about CoP, though, is that it is FREE! You just have to take a few minutes to create your account and then all these resources are yours!


Ready to sign up? Click here to get started.


Need help with your login information, resetting your password, or re-activating your account? Contact Andrea Fristoe with your questions.


*Please note your Communities of Practice account is separate from your online NAAE website account.

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

Hello NAAE Members,

I hope all is well with you and your families and everyone has successfully transitioned from our normal regimen of teaching, and into the summer life of an ag teacher (livestock shows, SAE visits, leadership camp, regional and state conferences -- and you can fill in the blanks).

After teaching agriscience, agricultural mechanics, power and machinery, greenhouse, and vet science for fourteen years at Dresden High School (DHS), I would say my fifteenth year came with a few challenges since my emphasis in teaching switched to large animal science at our school's livestock production complex and working farm. This year we have introduced some new bloodlines to both our swine farrow-to-finish operation and to our beef cattle cow/calf operation. So far we are seeing positive results within our livestock progeny. With that being said, I must say that challenges are not always bad. Some challenges can be good for us -- moving us out of a rut and becoming a motivational tool to drive us forward.

Today, I would like to talk to you a little about three subject areas:

1.      My favorite resources on CoP (Communities of Practice),

2.      Building a professional network for support in an agriculture program and the benefits of that network,

3.      Brief NAAE staff update.

I would like to challenge you to explore the CoP website and to build a professional network for your program if you have not already done so.I know it is one more thing on your plate, but I think it will benefit you tremendously.

Let’s talk about CoP and how resources are available to every NAAE member. If you take the time to browse the CoP page, you will find numerous informational resources to help you with lesson planning and classroom management. A common misconception about CoP is that it’s only useful for the new teachers. However, I have found that in order to really make these benefits work, it is sort of a symbiotic relationship for both new and the experienced teachers alike. For example, it is hard for a new teacher to post information about subject matters representing or exemplifying long term teaching experience, but our current teachers who have been in the profession for several years are able to share this information. On the flipside, our new teachers are the freshest out of the college framework for lesson planning, with knowledge of the latest technologies and teaching techniques, which can certainly add many benefits to the toolbox of experienced agriculture teachers.

CoP allows you to interact with teachers all across the US so that you can to build a network that will be super beneficial to your program. Remember knowledge is power and the more knowledge and resources we share with each other, the stronger the agricultural education teaching profession will become as a whole.

The CoP page is set up for super easy navigation. Simply look to the left of your screen and you will find the different communities that allow you to ask questions or post beneficial material for that community.

Building a professional network has been one of the most important attributes to our chapter for success in generating funding for our students. It is important to always have good public relations in your community. The success a lot of times for your fundraising endeavors, competition training/travel and chapter is a direct reflection of the support you have from your community network.One of the best networks you can have is an active FFA Alumni and support group. This is a group of individuals willing to work beside you, helping you to accomplish tasks which would have been otherwise difficult or impossible to achieve alone. Having a local network to help you achieve chapter and program success is one of the most rewarding things you could have. In addition to this support group, it is also important to have a strong connection to your county and state department of education to increase the success of your program.

Brief update about the NAAE staff: The NAAE staff are very busy right now preparing for regional conferences. Other programs they are working on are the virtual book club and the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Program which will take place in July. This time of year also requires our NAAE Staff to process approximately 200 award applications, set up regional award judging, and prepare for award recognition. In addition to these projects, the XLR8 program has been a super successful program and the staff are planning to facilitate a more local version in Ohio and Arizona this summer. The staff is also working on membership record status for the past year and preparing this year’s membership records. Preparation for the National NAAE Convention held this year in San Antonio, Texas is also underway. As you can see our staff members are super busy working to insure we will have the most beneficial and successful professional organization offered. Nick and I, along with NAAE staff, are making plans for the regional visits this summer. I know all of the regional vice presidents and secretaries are planning regional conferences for the summer and our vice presidents are also making state visits.

As you can see from my title, “Are You Up for The Challenge,” we are all very busy at NAAE, helping to build a stronger tomorrow for our organization. By embracing and learning from our challenges, we will continue to move forward in a positive direction..

We can’t wait to see you this summer!!!


A Message from our partners as part of News & Views:

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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 CAST.

In This Issue...... Click to Read
Credible Research Ties in with Current Headlines--P. 2
Animal Agriculture News
Food Science and Safety News
Plant and Environment News
International News
General Interest News
flag, memorial day,
  A safe, enjoyable Memorial Day weekend to all. Check out this article to learn how an agricultural weed came to symbolize Memorial Day.



World Pork Expo 


The Pork Checkoff will host its annual Producer Opportunity for Revenue and Knowledge Academy sessions at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on June 6 and 7.


Ag Voices of the Future
Are you interested in ag policy, have a passion for soybean production, and at least 18 years old? Don't miss out on this opportunity! Applications are due June 1. 



Nominations Due

The Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application is presented every October in Des Moines, Iowa, by the World Food Prize Foundation. Nominations are due by June 15.   


Submit an Idea



TeeEverWe welcome suggestions for future CAST publications and projects. Click here to submit ideas.


Fighting Hunger

Elanco's Jeff Simmons, the 2015 

BCCA laureate, explains a

combined effort with Heifer International to fight hunger.


A Challenge for Farmers
Consumers want to know the story behind their food, and it could only take as much as 10 minutes of social media each day to make a difference.


  Catch CAST Online! us on social media tostay up to date on the latest ag trends and recent CAST news!
May 25, 2018


  The Inscrutables?   



Not really--but the concept of "blockchain" and the term "sustainable" are often tough to pin down   



ag questions_ farmcrowdy.comIn ag circles, "blockchain" is the new buzz word, and "sustainable" has been an overused adjective for years. While some in the world of agriculture are experts about these issues, others get a glazed look as the terms come at them in a hypnotic barrage. The following links might help:


News and Views

Trade, Tariffs, and Ag:
  Trade tensions between China and the United States are still high, but some grain groups are optimistic--and this article says beef might benefit, also. On the other hand, President Trump is now downplaying expectations for a quick resolution to trade issues with China. 

The Bill:  The Farm Bill is still in play, and this link provides a couple of reports about what is likely to happen as the debates continue.


Biotech and Food (podcasts):  According to Kevin Folta, these six podcasts offer insightful discussions on the topic of genetically engineered foods.


Robotic Weeders:  Robots are taking precision weed killing to another level--and this could affect pesticide use and biotech crops.

Farms, Ranches, and Land (video):  Along with a look at land prices, this article includes a report from the American Farmland Trust--an assessment of the loss of U.S. farmland and ranch land.


         News from the Far Side of the Barn




Two weeks ago, an osprey hijacked a fish and shark; this time, a diving eagle takes a fox airborne as they fight over an unlucky rabbit.

Not-so-ugly Ducklings (video):  A Labrador retriever named Fred adopts nine ducklings.


Captivating Cacti (video):  This time-lapse video of blooming cacti is hypnotic


Octo-aliens? (video): These scientists say octopuses came from outer space.  



Cat Cruisin' at High Speed (video):  We're hoping this cat enjoyed the ride and landed on its feet.                         


Science-based Research and Current News



The phrase "credible, peer-reviewed research" might elicit cosmic sighs from some, as they envision publications laden with technical terms and scientific concepts. But the process is crucial in a world that needs solid, thoughtful information. CAST publishes issue papers, commentaries, and special reports to inform the public and policymakers--and with increasing regularity, the topics are resonating in current headlines. The following links reflect a few of the connections between CAST papers and current news. For more examples, click here to read our latest blog, CAST Publications Continue to Resonate with Recent Research.



Biotech and Labeling:  In a recent email to suppliers, Whole Foods announced the company would pause its genetically modified food labeling requirements that had been scheduled to start on September 1. CAST Issue Paper #56 examined process labeling and its effects on the food industry.


Gene Editing, Crops, and Regulations:The CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing method has the potential to greatly influence agriculture and food production. A recent CAST Issue Paper looks at the potential of this process and the ways that regulatory barriers hinder innovation



More Buzz about Bees:  The University of California-Davis provides a video to look at some of the complicated issues regarding bee health. And this Cornell University scientist discusses additional challenges bees face. The topic brings up many opinions, and the CAST Commentary, "Why Does Bee Health Matter?" uses science-based information to explain some of the important concepts.


Animal Health and Welfare:  Researchers are working to discover nutritional products that could help decrease illness and lessen the need for medicines. Animal welfare is a controversial topic, and this editorial writer says some extreme activists have trouble understanding the word "compromise."  A recent CAST Task Force Report looked at the science behind some of these issues: Scientific, Ethical, and Economic Aspects of Farm Animal Welfare.


Globe (TopLatestNews)

Friday Notes News Categories


Photos courtesy of the Agricultural Research Service (top masthead); TopLatest News (globe at right). P. 1 flag pic from livinwithme.jpg, ag question mark pic from, ag voices image from, and eagle pic from P. 2 gene edit graphic from and bee poster from Animal Sec. cow pic from Food Sec. grill pic from Plant Sec. helicopter pic from Inter. Sec. lion pic from Gen. Sec. Beyonce photo from Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of the USDA Agricultural Research Service.    


   Baby Chicks

      Animal Agriculture and Environmental News


holstein calves_


Penn State researchers found descendants of diverse Holstein lineages--several recently born calves have garnered a fan following.

Can Eggs Have a Footprint? (video):  As the end of National Egg Month draws near, check out this video that highlights the industry's commitment to lowering their carbon footprint.


Subcutaneous Fitbits:  A start-up company in Utah is putting biomonitors under cows' skin in hopes of helping farmers spot disease earlier.   


Bioprinted Pigs: This research team is working to print 3D pig liver tissue from genetically engineered pig cells.



For Brain and Body (opinion):  According to Farm Babe, meat is full of nutrients such as iron, zinc, selenium, magnesium, vitamins, and fatty acids--and such a diet is a component of brain health.

Pushing Beef Quality to the Limits:  Texas A&M researchers are exploring the potential for cloning animals for meat quality using DNA from postmortem muscle cells.

Dog Years:  The world's most influential synthetic biologist is behind a new company that plans to rejuvenate dogs using gene therapy. If it works, he plans to try the same approach on humans. 

"PHARM-ers": A disability can be difficult for anyone to handle, but it can prove especially challenging for farmers. These four-legged friends are making farm life a little easier for those who need assistance. 



Salmonella (FSIS)

   Food Science and Safety News


Fresher Food Tips (video): These seven tips and tricks are proven to leave your food fresh and edible for longer periods of time.


Grilling up a Healthy Meal:  Grilling season is well under way, and this survey shows nearly 75% of consumers prefer to grill their vegetables.

Field and Fork Food Pantry:  Thanks to the generous donation made by a Florida cattleman, those who rely on this University of Florida food pantry and garden will enjoy a nutritious meal packed with protein.   


Feed 4 Thought:  A recent survey indicates a majority of consumers believe their protein is raisedand handled with proper food safety measures. 



Wasted:  These master chefs say the key to reducing food waste includes putting leftovers to use, never shopping hungry, and giving your booze an upgrade.  


Don't Cry over Spilled (Raw) Milk?  Legislators from both sides of the aisle joined to defeat an amendment to the Farm Bill that would have allowed the interstate sale of unpasteurized raw milk

A Meaty Issue:  Missouri is one step closer to being the first state to enact labeling that makes it clear whether or not "meat" is sourced from an animal or not.


An Un-meaty Issue (related to above): The makers of the plant-based Beyond Burger unveiled their latest innovation--featuring a blend of peas, mung beans, rice, and sunflower protein.  



Plant Agriculture and Environmental News


helicopter sprayer_


Cattle producers are using helicopters to apply herbicides to control invasive weeds and put pastures back into grass production.

Biology Breakthroughs (video):  The USDA recently released the review of a GE virus that fights against the Florida citrus greening disease.


Tomato Wellness (podcast):  This UC-Davis plant breeder explains the art and science behind breeding delicious tomatoes that are ripe with flavor and nutrition. 



Cotton Agronomics: Mississippi State researchers are using biodegradable film to trap soil heat and help young cotton plants establish a more robust root system--resulting in more vigorous and healthier plants.


Organic Produce, Pesticides, and Truth (opinion): This noted editorial food writer looks at the USDA measurements of pesticide residues in our food.

Rejoice for Rice:  A team of Purdue scientists used CRISPR to develop a variety of rice that produces 25-31% more grain--something that would have been impossible with traditional breeding methods.  



Plants Rule the Earth: Research says that plants pack more heft than any other kingdom of life on the planet--making up 80% of all the carbon stored in living creatures.



Fighting Fungi:  University of Florida scientists hope that a group of fungi might fight a disease that's dangerous to tomatoes and specialty crops. 


  World and Plug (SFGate)

  International News  



This Malawian forest was almost emptied of wildlife, but a modern-day Noah's ark maneuver to move wildlife from other parts of the continent has rejuvenated the area.

Feline Fence: The world's longest cat-proof fence has been built in central Australia to help endangered species.   



Egging on Healthy Hearts:  A major study of nearly half a million Chinese people has concluded that eating an egg a day may lead to a lower risk of heart disease

The Ancient Rice Road: A study of 4,000-year-old DNA suggests that rice cultivation came with farmers migrating from China.



Seaweed in Your Tank?  Part of the Dutch energy program includes a push for the use of seaweed--a product ideally suited for biorefining.   

Armyworm on the March: Experts warn that the fall armyworm that has destroyed African crops could spread to Europe.       



Ebola Crisis: Despite the WHO declaring the West Africa region Ebola-free two years ago, there is a new wave of cases, this time in the Democratic Republic of Congo.



  General Interest News


beyonce got milk_


The successful "Got Milk?" ad phenomenon morphs into a "Got Jobs?" campaign by the dairy industry.

Farming Leads to Fortune (video): In this interview, the world's richest man says he learned his work ethic from his time spent on a cattle ranch as a kid.




Safety and Fun:  As a three-day weekend looms, this article provides tips for hosting a cookout in a public park.

Sunscreen in a Pill?
  The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to purchase alleged sun-protection supplements from four companies because they do not work.




Rural Infrastructure:  The USDA is investing $243 million in 50 rural community facility projectsin 22 states.

Agriculture Takes a Social Approach:  Farmers and ranchers across the globe are taking to social media to share their stories of raising food, fiber, and fuel to supply a growing population. Here is a list of more than 600 active bloggers.


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 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


* Agricultural & Applied Economics Association


* American Association of Avian Pathologists

* American Association of Bovine Practitioners 

* American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, & Resources-Agricultural Management   

* American Dairy Science Association 

* American Farm Bureau Federation 

* American Meat Science Association 

* American Meteorological Society, Committee on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
* American Seed Trade Association

* American Society for Nutrition Nutritional Sciences Council   

* American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
* American Society of Agronomy 

* American Society of Animal Science  

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

* American Veterinary Medical Association

* Aquatic Plant Management Society
* BASF Corporation
* Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont  


* Croplife America 


* Crop Science Society of America                                                                      

* Entomological Society of America

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

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

* National Pork Board

* North Carolina Biotechnology Center      

* North Central Weed Science Society

* Northeastern Weed Science Society                             

* Poultry Science Association                                                   


* 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-Reno College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources 



Note: WinField Solutions (Land O'Lakes) provides sponsorship for the distribution of

Friday Notes to the National Association of Agricultural Educators.

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Dan Gogerty (Managing Communications Editor) 


Kylie Peterson (Communications and Social Media Specialist)

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology

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Ames, Iowa  50014-3447

Phone: 515-292-2125, ext. 222 (Dan) and 230 (Kylie)


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