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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
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
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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,




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


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