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138 Posts authored by: Andrea Fristoe

This is a feature from the April 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Conservation practices and sustainability are at the forefront of hot topics in the agriculture industry. It is imperative that our students become informed consumers, so that they can make the best decisions for the future of our planet. As agriculture teachers, it is our job to make sure we teach our students curriculum that develops the knowledge and skills our students need to do just that.


The National FFA Foundation has partnered with the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) to provide teachers with a week-long lesson focused on agriculture conservation practices with support from Midwest Row Crop Collaborative (MRCC) members. These agricultural education instructional materials and programmatic deployment comes after a larger marketing campaign in grocery stores focused on connecting consumer purchases to the support of farmers and agricultural education.


These instructional materials focus on teaching the concept: “Conservation practices can contribute towards enhanced sustainability without reducing yield by enhancing the efficiency of inputs and reducing or making use of outflows.”


As you look for ways to enhance your curriculum, you will find that these instructional materials are a natural addition to many agricultural education courses including, but not limited to, plant science, soil science, crop science, natural resources and ecology, environmental science, and others. Many teachers have already used these exercises in their classrooms with great results.


“My students are now engaged in the concepts of sustainability,” said Jacob Hunter, agriculture teacher at North Scott High School, Iowa. “As a teacher of mostly non-traditional agriculture students, this was a way for me to help them understand that farmers take actions to protect the environment and that there is a science behind their decisions. Additionally, my students organically drew connections to the Dust Bowl. The lesson also encouraged them to think about where our soil leaves us in our county.”


Each exercise allows students the opportunity to collaborate with their peers, think critically, and problem-solve as they research and learn about the importance of conservation and sustainability.


“The students really enjoyed this lesson,” said Toni Gabriel, agriculture teacher at Genoa-Kingston High School, Illinois. “I tied it in to my soils unit and it was a great fit. The lesson allowed us to have a great conversation about fertilization. It also helped my students understand the importance of the 4 R's.”


Interested in learning more about these great instructional materials? Visit NAAE’s Communities of Practice website at this link for more information and to access these free resources today!



This is a feature from the April 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Each year, NAAE recognizes six distinguished postsecondary agriculture programs with the Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Program award. This award is designed to showcase exemplary postsecondary institutions and full-time young farmer and adult agricultural education programs from across the nation.


The 2018 award recipients were selected based upon the high-quality and diverse programming they offer postsecondary students or members of their local communities. From young farmer associations to community colleges and four-year institutions, each of these programs devote an exceptional amount of time to personal and professional development, in addition to the instruction they provide.  


The selected programs offer agricultural instruction to those who are interested in furthering their knowledge and careers in agriculture. Whether by staying updated with new advancements in farming technology, to entering the classroom as an agriculture teacher, these programs offer opportunities to all who are invested in agriculture.


Many of the programs partner with local businesses and agriculture industry partners to provide students with a variety of internships and work-based experience projects. Other programs focus on providing their students with professional development, networking, and certifications in the agriculture industry.  


Want to know more about the 2018 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 Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Program award is sponsored by Bayer 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 March 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Each year, NAAE recognizes six distinguished agricultural education programs with the Outstanding Middle/Secondary Agricultural Education Program award. This award is designed to highlight the vast accomplishments and program successes of middle and high school agriculture programs across our nation.  


Each of the 2018 award recipients were selected based upon the quality programming they offer their students. Although the selected programs range in size from the number of students and teachers, to the communities they serve, one common theme rings clear, each program believes in creating an environment where students “learn by doing.”   


From school farms to laboratories with current technological resources, the students impacted by each of these programs are able to become critical thinkers and problem solvers, as well as informed consumers and successful citizens through the hands-on and inquiry-based experiences provided by the agricultural instructors at these programs. One program offers its students study abroad opportunities, while another has students conduct herbicide and pesticide evaluations on the plants they grow. Many of these award-winning programs offer dual credits for students to further their studies in agriculture at the postsecondary level. With all of these diverse opportunities, it is clear that these agriculture programs want to fully prepare their students for future collegiate and career endeavors.


Want to know more about the 2018 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 Outstanding Middle/Secondary Agricultural Education program award is partially sponsored by Bayer as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Thank you Bayer for making this opportunity possible for these distinguished agriculture programs.



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


This is a feature from the February 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Each year, NAAE recognizes six teachers who are at the pinnacle of their profession—those who are conducting the highest-quality agricultural education programs. This award recognizes leadership in civic, community, agriculture/agribusiness, and professional activities. Outstanding agricultural educators are innovators and catalysts for student success in agricultural education.


The selected teachers for 2018 are professionals both in and out of the classroom. They have built their programs to serve their communities’ needs, develop leaders, and provide students with learning experiences that teach career and life skills they can utilize to be successful later in life.


These outstanding teachers focus on teaching students, rather than curriculum. By providing their students with experiential learning opportunities, they are able to teach them about agriculture in practical settings where students can apply their foundational knowledge to real-world situations. One teacher has created a “Made in Oklahoma” project that involves a store, food trailer, and catering business to serve her community, while another teacher has developed a canine grooming, training, and whelping program to teach her students about small animal science.


Beyond their diligent work in the classroom, these outstanding teachers are also leaders in their professional organizations at the local, state, and national levels. Many serve on NAAE committees, as well as hold offices in their state associations. They also seek opportunities to grow and develop their own skills through intensive professional development programs, such as the NAAE National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy. One thing is for certain, their success is a direct result of their ambition to continue learning and their involvement in the agricultural education profession.


Want to know more about the 2018 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.


NAAE is proud to have the Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher award program sponsored by Caterpillar, Inc. and Tractor Supply Company, as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Thank you Caterpillar and Tractor Supply for making this opportunity possible for these distinguished agriculture teachers.






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


Please join us for a FREE WEBINAR on March 13 or 14!   


The National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), in partnership with The FOOD EVOLUTION Educational Outreach Coalition, invites you to an exclusive, free, online webinar. Together we hope to inspire teachers to use the Food Evolution film as a tool to engage their students in using scientific practices to guide their decision-making. Our hour-long webinar will introduce attendees to the film and its accompanying Educational Resource Guide. We will discuss the film and its classroom applications, model an activity from the guide, and allow time for Q&A with a member of the FOOD EVOLUTION film team. Teachers who attend the entire webinar will receive a FREE copy of the film and the Guide, and a certificate for 1 hour of professional development to submit to their district or administration.


Aside from participation in this program, FOOD EVOLUTION is currently only available for educational and public screening rental or purchase. Consumer DVDs and streaming options are not currently available.  Be one of the first to use this film in your classroom!


This film is a great fit for any curriculum that focuses on media literacy, biology, agriculture, ethics, genetics, sustainability, climate change, and global hunger. FOOD EVOLUTION and the STEM-aligned messages it conveys about the value of science, technology, innovation, and analytical thinking in daily life creates an opening for engaging and thought-provoking discussions.  


The standards-aligned Educational Resource Guide includes discussion questions, screening guidelines, and procedural lesson plans for classroom use.  


To register or for more information, go to:   


For more information about Food Evolution please visit:  

For more information about the Food Evolution Educational Outreach Coalition, please email:

NAAE Members:


Have you considered getting more involved in the leadership for NAAE?  Committee membership is a great place to start.  Learn more about NAAE committees on the NAAE website and on Communities of Practice (scroll down to the lower right corner of the CoP welcome page for links to the committee pages).


Please refer to the attachments for more information.


To inquire about open positions on NAAE committees, please contact the respective committee leader (contact information on the attachment).


Many thanks.




Wm. Jay Jackman, Ph.D., CAE

Executive Director

National Association of Agricultural Educators

300 Garrigus Building

Lexington, Kentucky  40546-0215

Office: (859) 257-2224 or (800) 509-0204

Cell: (859) 619-4990

Fax: (859) 323-3919


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
A Hello and Goodbye for CAST Staff Members--P. 2
Animal Agriculture News
Food Science and Safety News
Plant and Environment News
International News
General Interest News
Blood Moon Risin'super blood moon eclipse will occur Sunday night, January 20, in glorious fashion across North and South America.
  Nominations Open for Prestigious Award 
Nominations are open for the 2019 Borlaug CAST Communication Award--forms and instructions are available here.
 World Food Prize Opportunity 
The World Food Prize Foundation's George Washington Carver Internship is an unparalleled professional opportunity for students interested in global issues of hunger, poverty, and development.
Calling Ag Ambassadors 
The National Teach Ag Campaign is seeking the nation's most outstanding agricultural education majors to represent the profession at the 2019 National FFA Conventionthis fall in Indianapolis.
Send In Ideas
CAST welcomes suggestions for future publications and projects. Click here for a look at how to get involved with CAST social media
Research Internships 
Cornell University is joining with a university in Hungary to offer CALS undergraduate students opportunities to participate in summer research internships.
FFAR Nominations
The Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research seeks nominations (due Feb. 28) for its 2019 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award.
    Catch CAST Online! us on social media to stay up to date on the latest ag trends and recent CAST news!
January 18, 2019
Generation Yum? 
   Survey indicates that younger people are more  
into food and agriculture
Many try to categorize groups of people by using generational labels. Mention baby boomers and an image of Woodstock might take shape; Generation Xers often get portrayed with an MTV clip in the background. When a survey about young people, agriculture, and food surfaces, folks struggle with terms such as Gen Y or millennial. But as an article in Feedstuffs explains, Eve Turow solved that by calling 18- to 34-year-olds "Generation Yum." The name seems to blend well with information from the Feed4Thought survey, as it points out the close connections today's youngsters have with food.  
The general findings indicate that younger people are trying to deepen their understanding of agriculture. They are looking into nutrition, animal welfare, and sustainability--and they accept that the "digital revolution has arrived in agriculture." The article suggests that every age, gender, income bracket, household size, and nationality agrees that farmers have a mission to produce safe, nutritious food for consumers. Luckily, we have thousands in the agricultural community working on that
News and Views 
Planetary Health Diet Draws Mixed Responses:  Research published in The Lancet argues that diet and food production need to change to improve health and avoid damage to the planet. However, some disagreed with the comments--for example, the pork industry's official response was that the report is radical and irresponsible, and a European ag society says the findings show a "lack of agricultural understanding."  
Limited Opening:  The USDA will reopen Farm Service Agency offices for limited services (mainly tax and loan situations) as the government shutdown continues.       
Searching for Ag Data:  The grain markets are scrambling for information as the government shutdown continues. This university economist explains some of the effects.    
CES Follow-up:  Some cool--and silly--items from last week's Consumer Electronics Show. 
Hunger on Campus:  As the costs of college have climbed, some students are going hungry.  
News from the Far Side of the Barn
romeo the frog_
Juliet, Wherefore Art Thou?  
In an amphibian version of The Bachelor, scientists found a mate for Romeo, a rare Bolivian frog. Now the pair can help save the dying species. 
Carrying a Heavy Load (video):  This four-year-old deer carries around an impressive display--519 inches of sculpted antlers. 
Their Version of the Wave (video):  This shimmering effect is produced by thousands of honeybees moving in sync, and it's used to scare wasps away from the nest.   
Fur Balls on the Couch (video):  We're not sure the canine is totally into this snuggle, but at least they're not fighting like cats and dogs.         
  Hello, Goodbye 
 Kimberly Nelson Joins CAST Staff as Kylie Peterson Moves to the Beef Council    
While the staff members at CAST say farewell to one talented communicator, they welcome another. This week we recognize the wonderful input the organization has had from Kylie Peterson--and we reluctantly say goodbye. At the same time, staff members are excited about the talents that Kimberly Nelson brings in as she takes over the social media/communications position.    
Kimberly Nelson gathered her passions for science, agriculture, and communication from many sources, and now she will be using her experience and skills as the "Communications and Social Media Specialist" at CAST. From writing to editing, from USDA regulations work to Iowa State University graduate studies, from research trips in Guam to bicycling pursuits on Iowa's Ragbrai bike trip, Kimberly has a varied background and plenty of abilities. As she said, "I am excited to work with people who are passionate about science. Communicating complex research findings to a diverse group of people can be a difficult process, but I am happy to be part of it." Click here to find out more about CAST's newest staff member.   
kylie peterson headshotKylie Peterson is not only a talented media specialist, she is a cowgirl at heart--and her love of the beef industry is taking her away from CAST and on to a job as the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Iowa Beef Industry Council. Kylie grew up on a cattle farm in Iowa, she excelled in the ag/communications field at Iowa State, and she has been the Communications and Social Media Specialist at CAST for the past year and a half. Along with her various tasks here, Kylie wrote several blogs, and her love of agriculture and communication shine through them--two examples: County Fair Season and Mason Jar Memories. As she said "I am truly appreciative for the time I have spent at CAST. I am filled with bittersweet emotions as I take on this new adventure. I can't thank the staff and volunteers enough for welcoming me with open arms and for creating an environment where I could learn, grow, and flourish. This experience--along with the people I have met--will be something I cherish forever."
Globe (TopLatestNews)
Friday Notes News Categories
Photos courtesy of the Agricultural Research Service (top masthead); TopLatest News (globe at right). P. 1 student reading photo from, blood moon pic from, and frog pic from Animal Sec. rhino pic from and pig pic from Food Sec. burger pic from msn.jpg. Plant Sec. plant pic from and tree pic from Inter. Sec. restaurant pic from and farmer photo from Gen. Sec. cowgirl collage from and water pic from Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of the USDA Agricultural Research Service.     

 Animal Agriculture and Environmental News
san diego frozen zoo_
San Diego Frozen Zoo: The cryobank is a source of genetic knowledge about hundreds of creatures, and it may one day be used to bring endangered species back from the brink. 
Focused on Research (video):  The Iowa Beef Industry Council will fund live animal research, and they have received proposals from 13 states and 8 universities so far. 
Sad Update:  As a follow-up to a story we printed last week about the challenges of professional bull riding, we note that a rider died after suffering injuries during an event at the National Western Stock Show.  
Insects as Chicken Feed:  According to this report, black soldier fly larvae meal is beneficial in broiler chicken diets--for feed and as a tool against disease. 
Meaty Issues (video):  Various farm states are taking action to help protect their livestock and meat industries against the rise of what they call "fake meat" products. 
Building a "Pig Fortress":  Although some of his ideas are expensive, this hog expert gives suggestions about protecting pigs from disease.  
Court Ruling Offers Opportunities? (opinion):  Charlie Arnot (CEO of The Center for Food Integrity) says the defeat of "ag-gag laws" lets farmers be transparent about their effective, safe production methods.                
Fighting Pig Disease: Several key swine industry groups will align efforts to reduce the risks from foreign animal diseases by creating the National Swine Disease Council  
Australian Shepherd Turns Rescue Dog:  This "dog of the year" rescued his owner during a near-death encounter between man and cow.  

 Food Science and Safety News
This article--including several videos--explains why food contests are actually more like eating disorders. And this blog--Eating Contest Indigestion--looks back at the indignity of such pursuits.
Not So Fast (opinion):  Fasting might have some benefits, but there are many questions about the long-term health consequences regarding this type of dieting. 
The Smell of Hunger:  Some foods emit a scent that entices an eater to go for a calorie binge, but this research finds that ambient food scent can directly satisfy hunger
Milk Semantics:  This survey says consumers want the FDA to prohibit nondairy beverage companies from using the term "milk"on labels. The FDA is soliciting comments about the issue. 
Who Hasn't Moved My Cheese?  While Americans consumed nearly 37 pounds of cheese per capita in 2017, it was not enough to reduce the country's 1.4 billion-pound cheese surplus.            
Camp Brisket:  Texas A&M's annual Camp Brisket included barbecue enthusiasts from the USA and Canada. 
Apps for Waste:  Apps are helping with food waste problems--especially with directing food to assistance programs. 
Science-based Research (related to above):  Check out CAST Issue Paper 62, Food Loss and Waste
Plant Agriculture and Environmental News 
These experiments in Israel show that some plants can hear, communicate, and even set up a "wood-wide net." 
Glyphosate "Not a Risk":  Canadian health authorities stated that after a thorough scientific review, no research indicates that glyphosate is a cancer risk to humans at the levels humans are currently exposed.       
Helping Thirsty Peanuts:  North Carolina State University specialists are studying peanut varieties to find a "water conservation trait" that would help the plants maintain high yields during a drought.  
Buying Biotech:  China approved five genetically modified crops for import--the first in about 18 months--in a move that could boost its overseas grain purchases. 
Nitrogen Research (opinion):  This scientist says nitrogen management needs to be improved to address the triple challenge of global food security, environmental pollution, and climate change.   
calif oak tree_ 
Saving Oak Trees:  Millions of trees are dying due to Sudden Oak Death in California, and a Cal Poly student is working on the problem.  
The Freeze and Thaw Effects on Soil:  This blog considers the effects freezing and thawing have on rocks and soil. 
International News   
This site takes a look at the world's most exclusive restaurants--and no, you probably  
can't get a table.
First Sprouts on the Moon's Far Side (video): 
Cotton seeds carried by China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander have germinated on the far side of the moon. Lunar update: reports indicate that the first cotton plant died
Zen Preparation (video): This famous sushi chef explainsthat 90% of the work is done before customers arrive.        
A Fast Food McBattle:  An Irish fast food chain--Supermac's--won its battle to force burger giant McDonald's to relinquish its "big mac" trademark in Europe.  
Boars at the Border:  France will cull all wild boars in a zone along the Belgian border to try and avoid an outbreak of a deadly swine disease.   
Trending in India:  The following 10 mega trends for Indiain 2030 might help businesses and policy leaders envision the India of the future.  
nigerian farmer_   
Transforming Ag:  New planting and harvesting techniques have transformed the fortunes of rice farmers in Nigeria's agricultural belt, turning family-run plots into thriving businesses.
Ducks in the Soybean Field:  Parts of Argentina are experiencing floods in places where a drought caused havoc last year. 
General Interest News
cowgirl collage_
Change on the Range: A UC-Davis student writes about young, female ranchers trying to adapt to climate change on the range.
Follow the Sun:  A trend of planting wildflowers on solar sites could maintain habitat for disappearing bees and butterflies.
Genome Magic:  Syngenta and NRGene will team up to use the GenoMAGIC data analytics platform to enable high-performance molecular breeding.  
"Healthy" Eating (opinion):  This blogger considers whether or not "healthy" snacks are actually good for you. Are vegetable-themed snacks like cauliflower puffs and fiery hot Peatos actually "health food"?
Snake Oil Sales Pitch? (opinion):  This writer says some modern-day talk show hosts are the equivalent of the traveling medicine show.
Water Worries:  This overview looks at the problems coming from falling water tables in many parts of the world--digging deeper wells might not work in the long run. 

Spatial Groundwater Management:  Cornell researchers show a way to coordinate water use, taking into account all the farms drawing water from a particular aquifer.         
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
* 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
* Rural Sociological Society                                                     
* 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-San Luis Obispo
* Cornell University
* Iowa State University  
* Kansas State University 
* Mississippi 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  
Note: 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)  
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 (Kylie)
**  With assistance from Carol Gostele (Managing Scientific Editor)  

This is a feature from the January 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


We hope your 2019 has started out great! At NAAE, we are putting together our 19 personal and professional goals for 2019. We'd love to hear your goals too! Use the comment boxes below to let us know what your goals are for 2019 and tell a friend to share his/her goals too!

This is a feature from the January 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Each year, NAAE selects six teachers who are in the early stages of their teaching careers as the Outstanding Early Career Teacher award recipients. This award is a means of encouraging early career teachers to remain in the profession and to recognize their participation in professional activities.


In 2018, the selected recipients for this award had numerous accomplishments, but one theme ran clear among them all – the primary goal for their agriculture programs is to promote student success. Each award winner, in his or her own way, continues to build their agriculture program around helping students reach their full potential.


These teachers have found many ways to increase student engagement and facilitate positive learning environments that will help their students be successful learners, consumers, and employees. One award winner opens career options for her students by providing industry-based certifications in her courses. Another award winner works diligently to develop community partnerships, allowing his students to have more experiential learning options. In addition, continual leadership development, as well as facility updates and management are proof that these early career teachers are working hard to build amazing agriculture programs for their students and communities. It is very clear that agricultural education is growing in a positive way with outstanding new teachers like these.


Want to know more about the 2018 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.


NAAE is proud to have the Outstanding Early Career Teacher award program sponsored by John Deere, as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Thank you John Deere for making this opportunity possible for our early career agriculture teachers.

The National Council for Agricultural Education is a partnership that convenes representatives from each of the AERO groups (Agricultural Education Related Organizations) to identify opportunities and resources, provide a forum for thought and direction and focus on academic and career success for all students.


On November 27, 2018 the National Council for Agricultural Education convened 130 Agricultural Education leaders from around the nation for the AgEd Summit held in conjunction with the NAAE Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Attendees included secondary teachers, post-secondary teachers, state staff, university faculty in teacher preparation programs, federal employees and employees of the National FFA.


The structure of the Summit was designed to examine three key questions:

  • What needs do you expect from the national level leadership for agricultural education?
  • What challenges and solutions do you see with bringing the various groups in agricultural education together to meet the needs?
  • How will we know that we’re on the right track? What will be indicators of success?


Through the process we collected some valuable questions and concerns that need to be addressed by the Council Board. Examples are; who is responsible to provide leadership for agricultural education at a national level and who is responsible for advocating for agricultural education at a nation level?


Overwhelmingly the responses at the end of the day were positive and reflective of the notion that we need to stop talking about strategic alignment and move to put something in place.


So, what is the next step? The Council will meet in December to review the consolidated feedback and start the process to identify a working plan for a structure to provide national level leadership for agricultural education that will meet the needs the groups identified and address the key challenges that were raised.


Please let me know if you have questions.


Buddy Deimler, President

National Council for Agricultural Education  

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


New teachers are always hungry for innovative, insightful, and engaging ways to teach their students. From professional development workshops, to looking for ideas on the Ag Ed Discussion Lab or Communities of Practice, there are endless opportunities to find creative ways to teach. As experienced agriculture teachers, it is important to encourage our new teachers to seek out opportunities to learn and grow in our profession.


For Heidi Richard, agriculture teacher at Beau Chene High School, in Arnaudville, Louisiana, professional development is the key to her success in the classroom.


“I believe it is essential for educators to help students reach their highest potential by teaching them the important skills needed for their futures,” said Richard. “Therefore, I try to attend various conferences to gain unique teaching ideas that will help engage my students.”


As a first-year teacher, Richard quickly learned the importance of differentiating instruction and providing hands-on experiences for her students to gain life skills. She found that the more relevant her assignments were to real-life scenarios, the more engaged her students were in the classroom. Throughout her teaching career, Richard has had her students develop resumes, prepare and present speeches, and complete mock interviews to help them gain valuable employability skills that they will need later in life.


Now in her sixth year of teaching, Richard makes it a priority to attend the NAAE Region II conference to watch the Ideas Unlimited presentations. From these presentations, she has been able to see numerous ideas that she can modify for her own classroom purposes. This year, she taught a soil textures lesson to her students using a candy activity she saw during these presentations. Richard uses the knowledge and skills she learns from all of the conferences and conventions she attends to better her curriculum, and ultimately her students.


“My goal as a teacher is to prepare my students for the future, and to do that I have to go above and beyond their expectations in order for them to discover their purpose in life,” added Richard. “I want my students to look back and realize that their life was changed because of agricultural education.”


As a recipient of the 2017 NAAE Teachers Turn the Key scholarship program, Richard was able to gain numerous new ideas and techniques the help reach her students at the 2017 NAAE Convention. NAAE offers the Teachers Turn the Key Scholarship as a means of encouraging young teachers to remain in the profession, and to encourage and recognize participation in professional activities. Follow this link to learn more about this award category and to view pictures and news releases of our award winners at the 2017 NAAE Convention. This program is sponsored by RAM Trucks as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.


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


Here are additional documents referenced in the previous "Seeking Candidates for Teacher Position on the National FFA Organization Board of Directors" post.

Agriculture Teachers:


NAAE is seeking agriculture teacher candidates to serve a 3-year term on the board of directors of the National FFA Organization.  This 3-year term of service will begin July 1, 2019 and conclude June 30, 2022.  As set forth in the attached Memorandum of Understanding (attachment #1) between the US Department of Education and the National FFA Organization, the agriculture teacher representative will be a representative of the US Department of Education.  Additional documents are attached to explain the responsibilities for National FFA Organization board members and as well as FFA organizational documents (attachments #2-6).  Candidates may also choose to review minutes of National FFA Organization Board of Directors meetings here …


Candidates for this position must submit their credentials to the NAAE office no later than 5:00 pm Eastern time on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.  E-mailed and/or faxed documents are acceptable.


The following completed documents are required of all candidates:


  • cover letter expressing interest in this position
  • resume highlighting experiences and expertise
  • Memorandum of Agreement Teacher 2018 (attachment #7 … signed by candidate and candidate’s administrator)
  • BOD Teacher Contact Information Form (attachment #8)


From among all applicants, the NAAE Board of Directors will select three nominees to send forward to the US Department of Education and to the National FFA Organization Board of Directors.  The US Department of Education and the National FFA Organization Board of Directors will make the final selection from among the three NAAE nominees.


Candidates may scan and e-mail completed documents to the NAAE office at or fax completed documents to (859) 323-3919.


Please direct questions about the National FFA Board of Directors to Dr. Steve Brown at


Please direct questions about submitting your credentials to me at


Thank you.




Wm. Jay Jackman, Ph.D., CAE

Executive Director

National Association of Agricultural Educators

300 Garrigus Building

Lexington, Kentucky  40546-0215

Office: (859) 257-2224 or (800) 509-0204

Cell: (859) 619-4990

Fax: (859) 323-3919


Andrea Fristoe

Continuing a Legacy

Posted by Andrea Fristoe Oct 10, 2018

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


Looking back on the formative years of our teaching careers, we can all remember those mentors who helped us get on our feet and keep our heads above water. For Krista Pontius, agriculture teacher at Greenwood High School, in Millerstown, Pennsylvania, the positive influence her mentors had in her early teaching career encouraged her to continue the same legacy as a mentor to new agriculture teachers in her state.


“In my early years of teaching, I relied on the advice of seasoned teachers and advisors in my tri-county area,” said Pontius. “As I began to feel comfortable in my position, I felt it was my responsibility to give back to the profession by serving as a mentor to new teachers in the field.”


For the past 14 years, Pontius has served as the mentoring coordinator for the Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators. Through this role, she matches first-year agriculture teachers with appropriate mentors to welcome new teachers into the ag education family and help them get a head start in their careers. As the mentoring coordinator, she also works with individuals at Pennsylvania State University to conduct workshops, webinars, and other forms of support for new agriculture teachers throughout the year.


Most recently, Pontius worked with NAAE to host Pennsylvania’s first Agriculture Inquiry Institute. This event brought together teachers with varying levels of experience and introduced them to inquiry-based teaching and learning. Numerous participants commented that this event was the best professional development experience of their careers.  


Pontius plans to continue her work as a mentor and mentoring coordinator for the state of Pennsylvania. She values the influence mentoring agriculture teachers have in new teachers’ lives and wants to develop more opportunities for teachers in all phases of their careers to come together and collaborate.


It is for her hard work and dedication as a mentor coordinator that Pontius was selected as the 2017 NAAE Region VI Outstanding Service Citation award recipient. NAAE recognizes current and retired NAAE members who have made significant contributions to agricultural education at the state, regional, and national levels with the Outstanding Service Citation award. This program is sponsored by Goodheart-Willcox.


Follow this link for more information about this award category and to see the other regional award winners.

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


Agricultural education reaches far beyond the classroom walls. Across the country, there are numerous stakeholders who help to promote and provide endless resources to the great profession we belong to. Merie Linegar spent her 35 year career helping to mentor students and teachers across the state of Oregon, to ensure program success.


As the Dual Credit Coordinator at Treasure Valley Community College, Linegar enabled thousands of rural students to obtain dual credit for their agriculture and natural resources coursework. She spent her career aligning the curriculum at Treasure Valley with the course standards at area high schools, to ensure students would get a head start in their postsecondary education. Without her dedication and guidance, many students in Oregon would not have continued their education beyond high school.


“I was privileged to work with Merie for almost four years at Treasure Valley Community College,” said Terry Basford, Director of CTE and Special Projects at Treasure Valley Community College. “Her understanding and connection to all of the secondary programs was invaluable. Merie was the ‘go-to’ person for answers to questions, directions, communication, information, and support. Our program would not have the connection to our high schools and students if it was not for her.”


Throughout her career, Linegar focused on supporting and promoting agricultural education as a means to better prepare and serve students. Her tireless efforts to support our profession are why she was named the 2017 NAAE Region I Outstanding Cooperation Award Winner. Without stakeholders like Linegar, agricultural education would not be able to make the profound impact that it does each and every day, in the lives of our students.


NAAE recognizes organizations, agribusiness companies, and others who have given outstanding support to agricultural education with the Outstanding Cooperation Award. The plaques for this program are sponsored by Forrest T. Jones & Company.

For more information about the Outstanding Cooperation award category, and to see who else was named, follow this link.