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142 Posts authored by: Andrea Fristoe

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



NAAE regional conferences will be here before we know it! If you are looking for a great way to network with other ag teachers in your area, receive some new and exciting professional development and resources, and find out what is going on at the regional and national levels of NAAE, make sure to register for your region’s conference.


The tours, trainings, meetings, and networking opportunities provide ag teachers with knowledge and experiences they can take back to their classrooms to enhance their lessons. Ag teachers are encouraged to bring along their families to regional conferences, so there are no worries about missing family time for yet another conference.


NAAE regional conferences are also a great way for you to represent your state association and help lead our organization. Talk to your regional vice president about becoming more involved in the leadership of NAAE – from committees to the board of directors, there is a place for you!





Here are the dates, locations, and links for each region’s respective conference:

Region IRegion IIRegion IIIRegion IVRegion VRegion VI

April 25-28

Cedar City, Utah

June 18-21

Fort Collins, Colorado

June 18-20

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

June 26-28

Kansas City, Missouri

June 25-27

Asheville, North Carolina

July 9-12

Dover, Pennsylvania


Make sure to register for your regional conference as soon as possible. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to engage with other ag teachers and take new and exciting information back to your program!

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


HeadShot.jpgCameron Dale
2017 NAAE Region II Outstanding Young Member Award Winner
Elgin High School
Elgin, OK


In the rural community of Elgin, Oklahoma, the agriculture program continues to grow and thrive with over 150 students enrolled. The three-teacher department focuses on agricultural education’s three-circle model of instruction, in order to help its students achieve their goals and aspirations in an agricultural context.


Since 2013, Cameron Dale has provided the students at Elgin High School the opportunity to learn beyond the walls of her classroom through hands-on and interactive experiences. Her dedication to teaching her students valuable life skills in order to prepare them for their future careers is why she was named the 2017 NAAE Region II Outstanding Young Member.


“As an agriculture teacher, my ultimate goal is to produce educated consumers that can critically think and solve problems,” said Dale. “I believe that students should learn something new in my classroom every day that can be applied to their future educational and career endeavors.”



Dale wants to ensure that her students develop soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and work ethic, that they can transfer to their future careers, so she takes every opportunity she can to teach. Whether in the school garden, at a livestock show, or on the way to a career development event, she uses every chance she can to help her students learn and grow through agricultural education.


“Linking real-life experiences to student learning is the foundation of my instruction,” added Dale.


Hands-on experiences are a critical part of Dale’s classroom and instruction. In her Agricultural Explorations class, she has her students conduct a research project by making ice cream. The students use a website resource available through the National Center for Education Statistics to graph their data and draw their conclusions. She also takes her students to the school farm to assess animal health and apply the skills they learn in the classroom to the program’s livestock. Dale also uses hydroponic systems and garden beds to teach her students about horticulture and even has the students care for and manage three breeds of composting worms.



By providing students with a real-life context for their learning, agriculture teachers are able to teach beyond the walls of their classrooms. When students are able to understand that what they learn at school has tangible value that they can use in their daily lives, they are more engaged in their learning.


How will you help reach students beyond the walls of your classroom?


The Outstanding Young Member Award is a means of encouraging young teachers to remain in the profession and to recognize their participation in professional activities. This program is sponsored by John Deere as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.



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

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


As a member of a professional organization, it is important to know your benefits. From professional liability insurance to discounts on hotels, there are a multitude of resources and opportunities that you are able to take advantage of.


One of the best benefits you can receive from your NAAE membership is professional development. NAAE provides its members with professional development opportunities catered specifically to agriculture teachers. Whether you are a preservice teacher, or have been in the profession for over 30 years, there is something for you. DSC_0006.JPG


Here are just a few professional development highlights you may want to consider adding to your schedule this year:


  • NAAE Virtual Book Club
    Personalize your professional development with the NAAE Virtual book club and earn professional development credit or CEU's during the summer. Each year a new book is selected and teachers are able to work at their own pace to read the book and complete the required assignments and activities on Communities of Practice.
  • Farmer to Farmer Program in East Africa
    Volunteer to work in East Africa through the Farmer-to-Farmer project – an NAAE partnership with CRS. Expertise in agricultural education is needed as you will focus your time on helping to develop the agriculture sector in East Africa.
  • Learning Sessions at NAAE Convention
    Three days of professional development workshops covering topics important to agricultural educators. Choose from more than 60 workshops, ranging from deep-dive sessions to idea labs. Network with your peers as you discover new and innovative classroom ideas, techniques and approaches that can help grow your program.
  • Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE)
    DSC_0103.JPGMore than just curriculum, CASE is a system of instructional support for the classroom teacher that also includes professional development, assessment and certification. Learn how to enhance the science of agriculture through inquiry-based classroom and laboratory experiences, which will take your students’ learning to the next level.
  • Workshops for Preservice Teachers
    Pre-service teachers are invited to participate in all NAAE workshops, but special programming is available during Teachers’ World at National FFA Convention and through other special preservice programs. From the Future Agriscience Teacher (FAST) Symposium at National Teach Ag Day and NAAE Convention, to the National Agriscience Preservice Teacher Program at National FFA Convention, we offer specialized professional development for our future teachers to help them begin their careers.


Whether you are looking for a distance-learning approach to professional development, or would like to travel across the globe to fully immerse yourself in agriculture, NAAE has something for you. If you would like more information about any of these professional development opportunities, or for a full listing of all our professional development offerings, follow this link.


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



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


SaraBeth Fulton

2017 NAAE Region VI National Agriscience Teacher of the Year Award Winner
Big Spring High School
Newville, PA


HeadShot.jpgStudents often gravitate toward our programs because of the hands-on, experiential learning opportunities that are offered. We pride ourselves in providing students the chance to learn by doing.


For SaraBeth Fulton, agriculture teacher at Big Spring High School, in Newville, Pennsylvania, her program takes the appealing, interactive curriculum of agriculture a step further by offering additional certifications and credits in science.     


The agriculture program at Big Spring High School currently offers 17 different courses to over 240 students. The course offerings are organized into three career pathways, which involve five out of the 10 competencies offered by the school. From there, five of the courses fulfill science credits and high school graduation requirements, two courses offer dual-credits through the local community college, there are two CASE courses offered, along with one AP College Board course, and the program also offers five different industry certifications.


With that many different opportunities for students to achieve and receive multiple recognitions and credits, it is no wonder the agriculture program’s class request list has over 600 students.


During her tenure at Big Spring High School, Fulton has made it a priority to enhance the science of agriculture in the program’s curriculum.


PhotoInstruction.jpg“Over the past 13 years, I have continually updated materials and added new laboratory experiences to all of my courses,” said Fulton. “In connecting with the national Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) standards, I have incorporated science-based laboratories in all of my classes in order to expand and relate previous knowledge taught in the science department to real-world applications.”


Through her hard work, Fulton has been able to establish a great relationship between Big Spring and the Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), so that her students are able to receive dual-credits in horticulture. Big Spring’s agriculture program was the first in Pennsylvania to offer a dual-credit course in conjunction with HACC, and has since served as a resource and stepping stone for other programs in the state to follow.


Fulton not only sees the importance and value of enhancing the science in agriculture, but also the importance and value of providing her students with the opportunities and resources to enhance the efficiency of their high school educational experiences. As agriculture teachers, offering those extra benefits are excellent ways to market our programs and show the value of agricultural education.


SaraBeth Fulton is the 2017 NAAE Region VI National Agriscience Teacher of the Year award recipient. This award category is sponsored by Herman and Bobbie Wilson as a special project of the Natioinal FFA Foundation. For more information about the National Agriscience Teacher of the Year award category and to see the rest of the 2017 recipients, follow this link.


A Message from our Partners:


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


npslogo.pngEach spring, career and technical educators have the opportunity to advocate for their profession through ACTE’s National Policy Seminar. During this annual event, agricultural education has its own track for agriculture teachers to attend and use as an opportunity to advocate for their programs and careers.


This year’s event will take place March 5-7 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, in Arlington, Virginia.


Here is what you can expect as an attendee of the National Policy Seminar:

  • Learn how to craft and communicate your CTE message, programming priorities, and local education needs to your policymakers.
  • Engage your members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill to advance local and national CTE policy initiatives.
  • Hear the latest information on Perkins reauthorization, funding opportunities, and CTE-related legislation.
  • Benefit from a half-day special focus on improving the image of CTE through public awareness and local advocacy.


As a NAAE member, there are additional opportunities and benefits, which include:

  • NAAE will cover the registration for one representative per state. This registration must be received by the NAAE office by Monday, February 5th. The registration form can be found here:
    • ACTE Early Bird Registration Rate ends February 2nd. Rates for ACTE members are $385, non-members is $405. A complete rate list can be found here:
    • 10% Group Discount: When you register five or more individuals from the same institution, you can receive a 10 percent group discount. Please note: Group discount does not apply to the student rate, as this is already a discounted rate.
  • NAAE has a hotel block at the Crowne Plaza National Airport for $162/night plus tax. Rooms can be reserved through this link: Payment will be accepted upon check in for the reservation. Reservations need to be made by Monday, February 5th. Any reservations made after this cannot be guaranteed at the group rate. This is not the hotel that NPS will be held. NPS will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott for a rate of $259/night plus tax. Those reservations can be made here:
  • NAAE will hold special programming that is agriculture specific Monday, March 5th from 11:30 am- 12:30 pm.
  • NAAE and FFA will co-host a luncheon on Monday March 5th from 12:30-1:45pm.


Follow this link for more information about the National Policy Seminar with Agricultural Education Track.

This is an article from the November 2017 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


HeadShot.jpgEvery agriculture teacher has a unique story to tell about the beginning of his or her teaching career. Some are fortunate to have the opportunity to walk into a well-established, multi-teacher department, with excellent administrative and community support. Oftentimes though, new agriculture teachers have to take a struggling program and build it into something that the students, administration and community value. Such is the case for Tyler Johnson, agriculture teacher at Murtaugh High School, in Murtaugh, Idaho.


Johnson became the agriculture teacher at Murtaugh High School in 2014. He was initially faced with a struggling agriculture program and lack of student and community interest. Through the development of a program vision, community partnerships, and allowing his students to take ownership in their program’s facilities, Johnson has been able to establish the Murtaugh agriculture program as a valuable part of the school and community.


“My philosophy of education is simple – guide students to realize that all their goals and aspirations are obtainable,” said Johnson.


Johnson’s initial focus at Murtaugh High School, which perfectly aligned with his teaching philosophy, was to build a new facility. Over the course of the last two years, he and his students have worked together to build a new classroom and welding shop, along with a new greenhouse.


“Building our new facilities turned into a great learning opportunity for my students and me,” said Johnson. “As we went through the process, there were many different tasks to accomplish, so I took each class and adapted the tasks at hand to the content objectives.”johnson.jpg


Johnson began with the construction of a new classroom and welding shop. His students completed every aspect of the project from design, to framing and fabrication. After the completion of the classroom and shop, Johnson and his students turned their attention to designing and building their new greenhouse.


“My greenhouse and plant science classes designed the greenhouse, while my intro to mechanics class had the opportunity to do all of the ground work, concrete framing, layout, and pouring,” said Johnson. “I cannot imagine a better opportunity for my students to learn than by walking through the whole process from start to finish, and then being able to call the facilities our own when the projects were completed.”


Through the construction of the new facilities, Johnson has been able to develop many new and beneficial relationships within the community and state of Idaho. The program has received advice and financial support from Community Builders, Key Ag Distributors, Twin Falls Animal Health Vet Supply Company, and the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation. All of these relationships, along with the development of a strong advisory board will allow the agriculture program to continue to grow and prosper.


“Moving forward, there are many projects left to complete in the Murtaugh ag program before we meet all of our facility goals,” said Johnson. “Now that we have been through the process, I know it can be a great experience to have the students involved with.”


The Teachers Turn the Key scholarship program is sponsored by RAM Trucks, as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. For more information about the program and to see additional winners, follow this link.


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



This is an article from the October 2017 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Matt Chaliff.pngAs much as we would like to see every agriculture teacher stay in the classroom until they retire after a lengthy and fulfilling career, for many, a career change often leads to greater opportunity within agricultural education. So is the case for Matt Chaliff, Agricultural Education Program Consultant and FFA Executive Secretary for the state of Kentucky.


Chaliff was an agriculture teacher in Kentucky, at Taylor County High School for four years, where he saw great program success. However, in 2004 another door opened for Chaliff to develop his full potential as a leader in agricultural education for the state. His accomplishments at the Kentucky Department of Education are the reason he was selected as the 2016 NAAE Region IV Outstanding Service Citation award recipient.


During his tenure in the Office of Career and Technical Education, Chaliff has led the expansion of new SAE resources for teachers, redesign of Kentucky's Principles of Agriculture course, and the development of agribusiness career pathway standards.

Agriscience Fair 15.jpg


Chaliff also values the importance of professional development for Kentucky agriculture teachers. Each year, he coordinates the summer teachers’ conference and winter professional development session. He also teaches a workshop for new agriculture teachers and has been heavily involved in the recent development of the Kentucky Master Agriculture Teacher Program. This program is designed to help agriculture teachers in their fifth to fifteenth years as they grow professionally.



Although Chaliff could have stayed in the classroom, the agriculture teachers in Kentucky are certainly thankful for his willingness to shift careers. Without his leadership within the state, agricultural education would not have grown by the leaps and bounds that it has, which is a benefit for both agriculture teachers and students in Kentucky.



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. This program is sponsored by Goodheart-Wilcox. For more information about the Outstanding Service Citation award and to see the other regional winners, follow this link.


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



When Ashley Holden saw a message on the U.S. Ag Ed listserv about the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program, her interest was immediately piqued.


After perusing their website, she realized she had a unique perspective to share. “I saw a lot of history and math teachers, a few science teachers, a few CTE educators, but nothing really tied to agriculture,” she said.


She decided to apply. She describes the application process as taking some time, but not overwhelming, and in In April, Holden was selected for the 2018 award. She will spend January through June of next year in the Netherlands conducting research related to best practices in agricultural education.


“As teachers, we all want to do better,” she said. “In my own experience, we’re not doing a great job of prepping kids for the next step after high school.”


Holden, an animal science teacher at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton, Massachusetts, felt she didn’t have a lot of resources to help students find careers or postsecondary educational opportunities in that field.


“When I was researching this opportunity, I was thinking about how well-prepared students from the Netherlands are, and how different their schools are,” she said.


While she’s in the Netherlands, Holden will learn what agricultural education is like by visiting classrooms, teacher preparation programs, policy makers, and agriculture producers. She’ll also have the opportunity to review academic research that has helped form the Dutch system for agricultural education.


More immediately, the opportunity has already encouraged Holden to start making her own students more aware of international opportunities for themselves. “I want students to expand their horizons,” she said, “to see other opportunities besides college and jobs.”


As for taking six months away from her teaching job at Smith, Holden said her administration was supportive. “I prepared my application and presented it to my principal, explained the opportunity and asked if it was something he could sign off on,” she said. “He was really excited, especially since the Fulbright name was attached.”


Fulbright covers the travel and living expenses for award recipients, and even allows for a family stipend if participants choose to take their spouse or family. Holden’s husband, a science teacher, plans to move to the Netherlands with her, and they even are thinking about starting a podcast to share their experiences in real time.


Although she’s still exploring exactly what the end result of her research will look like, Holden knows she wants to come away from the experience with a solid set of resources she can share with other agriculture teachers in the U.S.


In addition, a better understanding of how to prepare agriculture students for their next steps after high school, coupled with her status as an alumnus of the Fulbright program, may give her opportunities to help influence policy makers or other administrators in supporting students.

This is an article from the September 2017 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


kquinn2.jpgPartnerships are often a huge contributor to the successes of our students and agriculture programs. From the local beef cattle association partnering with your FFA chapter for a fundraiser, to sponsor-funded initiatives that span the entire United States; it is partnerships that provide our students learning opportunities and help them develop lifelong career skills.


One unique partnership we have in agricultural education is with the World Food Prize Foundation. Since 1995, high school students from around the world have been given the opportunity to participate in the foundation’s Global Youth Institute. This three-day event pairs students with teacher mentors to discuss pressing food security and agricultural issues with international experts. During this experience, students are able to interact with both Nobel Peace Prize and World Food Prize Laureates.


Since 2000, Ambassador Kenneth Quinn has been the President of the World Food Prize Foundation and has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of global food insecurity through the Global Youth Institute. Through his 32 years of experience in foreign service, diplomacy, and food security, Ambassador Quinn has made a profound impact on the lives of students and teachers in agricultural education. His dedication the philanthropy is the reason he was selected as the 2016 NAAE Region III Outstanding Cooperation award winner.


Ambassador Quinn realizes that the first step to addressing global food insecurity is through proper education about agriculture and food, which is why he chooses to connect with agriculture teachers and students.


“Thanks to the World Food Prize, multiple students who are currently enrolled in agriculture classes have expressed a greater understanding for the importance of education about agriculture,” said Ambassador Quinn. “Students who were not previously enrolled in agriculture courses have indicated an intent to change their high school schedules to now include agriculture courses.”


In an effort to reach more students through the Global Youth Institute, state-level youth institutes have been established in 15 states. These day-long institutes take place at land-grant universities, as a partnership with the institution’s agriculture college, and provide students and teachers with a snapshot of the same information and activities that take place at the Global Youth Institute. The top students at the state-level institutes are selected to attend the Global Youth Institute, to continue their education about global food insecurity.


Through these various institutes, Ambassador Quinn is able to gather stories from agriculture teachers and students that he uses in his efforts to help raise awareness about global food insecurity. Partnerships like these allow agricultural education to reach farther than the walls of our classrooms. It is opportunities like these, for us and our students, that allow us to truly make a difference in the lives of every person on the planet – yet another reason that agricultural education’s value is immeasurable.


For more information about the World Food Prize Foundation, click here.


Wanting to find out more about the State Youth Institutes? Check out this link.


Interested in finding out more about the Global Youth Institute? Follow this link.


Ambassador Kenneth Quinn was the 2016 NAAE Region III Outstanding Cooperation award winner. 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 NAAE awards and programs, please follow this link.


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


This is an article from the September 2017 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


copimage.jpgWe’re all busy. Well, “busy” might actually be an understatement, but is there even a word that encompasses everything we do as ag teachers? From lesson planning, to CDE prep, banquet planning, advisory board meetings, and the email your principal just sent about needing you to volunteer to sell concessions at Friday night’s football game – it never ends.


While our calendars are filling up with personal and professional duties, it is a relief to know that the ag education family is an excellent resource and support group. Thanks to NAAE’s Communities of Practice, ag teachers are able to share ideas, lessons, tips, and so much more! Since its update last summer, CoP now offers many new features that help make it even more user-friendly, including better organization and structure, and a search bar that populates what you are looking for as you type. Even though it may take a few extra minutes of your valuable time, the new CoP is definitely worth a look!


To check out the new Communities of Practice site, click here.


As you are taking a quick check of your phone in between class periods, wouldn’t it be great if there was a notification that some kind soul just posted an entire animal science lesson plan, PowerPoint, resource guide and assessment on the internet? Well, with the newly-released Communities of Practice mobile app, that wish can be a reality.


Through push notifications, you can have the lesson plans you’ve left sitting on the back burner at your fingertips in seconds. Looking for the most updated rules and regulations for Parliamentary Procedure? Need a PowerPoint about the elements of floral design? What about a diagram of the skeletal structure of a dairy cow? DONE, with one quick tap! So now, instead of spending your hall duty arguing with the gym teacher about who will win this weekend’s football game, you can now use those couple of extra minutes to search for next week’s lessons.


All you need to get Communities of Practice on your mobile device is to download the Jive Daily App for FREE in the AppStore or Google Play. Then, enter into the first prompt box and sign in with your CoP account login information (enter your user name, not your email address when prompted). It is as easy as that, and now you have exactly what you need right at your fingertips! (You can also access our step-by-step instructions – with pictures – here.)


We hope you enjoy the new Communities of Practice, with all of its upgraded features. If you have any questions about using CoP, or setting up an account, please contact CoP administrator Julie Fritsch at


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




Friday Notes is designed to enhance communication among various agricultural sectors, educators, students, and the public who are interested in a variety of plant, animal, food, and environmental issues. Friday Notes advocates the pursuit of credible, unbiased, science-based information. Material contained in linked articles is from the original authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the CAST organization.

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


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



Farm Safety


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



   Biotech Conference


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


Ag Teaching Resources

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


Managing Global Resources

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


  National Science Foundation


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


  Pivoting the GMO Conversation

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



CAST Social Media


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


Disasters Affect Urban Centers,   


Food, and Agriculture



A focus on flooding in the USA and around the world 




flooding_ and


Floods are devastating areas of 

the United States, Asia, and Africa.

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


A Global Concern

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



News and Views




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



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


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


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


News from the Far Side of the Barn 






send cow to college_


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


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


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




Societies Are a Key to CAST's Success


This Philadelphia Ag Society Would Make Ben Franklin Proud



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



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


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


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


Globe (TopLatestNews)

Friday Notes News Categories

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

   Baby Chicks

   Animal Agriculture and Environmental News



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



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



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


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


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



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



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


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


Salmonella (FSIS)

   Food Science and Safety News


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



barbecue pic,


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



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




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


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


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



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




   Plant Agriculture and Environmental News


farmer_ field_ drone_


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

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


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



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


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


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


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

  World and Plug (SFGate)

  International News  



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



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




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



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


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


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


  General Interest News

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

mole with tp roll on head_


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


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


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

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



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

CAST Information


YouTubeCheck out CAST's page at the YouTube site to view highly regarded ag-science videos about probiotics, food safety, and water issues--or the latest video dealing with proposed mandatory labeling of GMO food items.


fishing ideas kgtohbuIf you have a good idea for a CAST publication, contact us by clicking HERE for the "Proposal Format and Background Information Form."



CAST provides Friday Notes as a benefit to its members.  Please do not forward, edit, copy, or distribute the Notes in any form to nonmembers without the express permission of the CAST Executive Vice President Kent Schescke ( Instead, please encourage your colleagues to join CAST and thereby become eligible for all membership benefits. Contact Colleen Hamilton at 515-292-2125, ext. 224 or, or CLICK HERE for CAST membership information.


Societies, Companies, and Nonprofit Organizations

Serving on the CAST Board of Representatives



* American Association of Avian Pathologists


* American Association of Bovine Practitioners 

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

* American Dairy Science Association 

* American Farm Bureau Federation 

* American Meat Science Association 

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

* American Society for Nutrition Nutritional Sciences Council   

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

* American Society of Animal Science  

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

* American Veterinary Medical Association

* Aquatic Plant Management Society
* BASF Corporation 

* Croplife America 

* Crop Science Society of America                                                                      

* DuPont   

* Elanco Animal Health
* Entomological Society of America

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

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

* National Pork Board

* North Carolina Biotechnology Center      

* North Central Weed Science Society

* Northeastern Weed Science Society                             

* Poultry Science Association                                                   


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


* Syngenta Crop Protection
* The Fertilizer Institute
* Tyson Foods   

* United Soybean Board 

* Weed Science Society of America 

* Western Society of Weed Science


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


Members of CAST's Education Program



* Cal Poly
* Cornell University
* Iowa State University 

* Kansas State University
* Mississippi State University     

* North Carolina State University  

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

* The Ohio State University  

* University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

* University of California-Davis   

* University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

* University of Kentucky  

* University of Nebraska Agricultural Research Division                                     

* University of Nevada


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

Friday Notes to the National Association of Agricultural Educators.

CAST Logo Jan 2010


Dan Gogerty (Managing Communications Editor) 


The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology

4420 West Lincoln Way

Ames, Iowa  50014-3347

Phone: 515-292-2125, ext. 222; Fax: 515-292-4512; E-mail:


**  With assistance from Carol Gostele (Managing Scientific Editor) and Kylie Peterson (Communications and Social Media Specialist)   


This is an article from the August 2017 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.



Carole Fay

SAE Specialist
Pennsylvania State University Center for Professional and Personal Development
Palmyra, PA
2016 NAAE Region VI Lifetime Achievement Award Winner


As we prepare to celebrate the BEST. JOB. EVER. next month, it is important we take time to recognize outstanding agriculture teachers who have dedicated their careers to providing the best educational experiences. One such ag teacher is Carole Fay of Palmyra, Pennsylvania. An agriculture teacher at Penn Manor High School in Millersville for over 30 years, Fay made a lasting impression on countless students by providing them an exceptional education using the three-circle model of instruction.



“The Chinese proverb, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,’ has been my goal for the past 35 years,” said Fay. “As an agriculture teacher at Penn Manor for 30 plus years, I taught students how to ‘fish’ by teaching them skills they can use in a life-sustaining career and as members of their communities.”


Fay is now retired from the traditional classroom setting, but continues to make an impact in agricultural education for the state of Pennsylvania. As the SAE Specialist for Pennsylvania State University’s Center for Professional and Personal Development, Fay works with students and teachers to develop SAE projects and programs – yet another way to teach students “how to fish.” As part of this endeavor, she has created a student and teacher guide to using the AET recordkeeping system, so students and teachers alike can optimize experiential learning in agricultural education.


CaroleFay3.pngFay believes the experiential learning component of the three-circle model is an essential tool in teaching students those valuable and marketable life skills they will need for the rest of their lives. You could call it the “Fishing 101” component. Experiential learning provides students with the opportunity to not only develop and expand their agricultural interests and pursuits, but it also provides them the chance to grow as young adults, as they expand their knowledge of the real world.


“I am looking forward to the future of SAE in Pennsylvania and continuing to help teachers teach their students how to become ‘fishermen’ and remind them that the size of the ‘fish’ or SAE project is not important,” said Fay. “The important part is that they have been taught the skills to ‘fish’ for themselves.”CaroleFay4.jpg


Often it is not until our students have graduated and come back to the program to visit that we realize the influence we have had in their lives. Seeing them tackle life’s challenges as young adults and putting those “fishing skills” to work is gratifying because it lets us know that yes, we are making a positive difference in our schools, communities, and ultimately the world. That is a reason to celebrate our careers because we really do have the BEST. JOB. EVER.





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




This is an article from the August 2017 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Our interns this summer have been working very hard to help us with our programming and initiatives. We are very proud of their work ethic and dedication and look forward to continuing to work with them as they begin their careers in ag education! If you are attending NAAE Convention this year, in Nashville, you'll get the opportunity to meet these outstanding future educators!



RuthAnnMeyers.jpgName:  Ruth Ann Myers

School:  University of Kentucky

Year in School:  Senior

Hometown, State:  Harrodsburg, Kentucky


Why did you choose to major in agricultural education?  I chose to major in agricultural education because I grew up watching my parents in the classroom, and saw the impact they had on their students' lives. I my future career would allow me to do the same.


What are your professional goals?  I believe that there is a need for agricultural education outside of the classroom, so I hope to pursue a career in lobbying for agricultural policy.


What has been the best part of your internship?  I've thoroughly enjoyed the networking opportunities that come with meeting with staffers in Congressional offices. My favorite highlight has to be when Congressman Abraham from Louisiana spoke on the House floor about the achievements of his constituent that won an award through NAAE.



mattbernia.jpgName: Matthew Bernia

School: University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Year in School: Senior

Hometown: Bay Park, Michigan


Why did you choose to major in agricultural education?  When I started high school, I truly didn't care about school, grades, or accomplishing anything. That all changed after a semester of Intro to Ag, where my first agriculture teacher, Victoria Talaski-Yackle, pushed me to succeed. She was the first teacher who believed in me and connected with me. I want to do the same for other students because of her influence in my life.


What are your professional goals?  As an educator, my primary goal is to provide an exceptional educational experience for all students. I want to be the teacher known for truly teaching students something. In order to do this, I will be a lifelong learner and constantly find opportunities to continue to develop my teaching skills. I also plan to earn my master's degree in agricultural education within the next 10-15 years.


What has been the best part of your internship?  The relationships I have built during my time in Kentucky and getting to know the professional staff that keeps ag ed working has been amazing. It has been eye-opening to see the amount of work which goes into providing the multitude of services NAAE does.


alice_3.jpgName: Alice Cox

School: Clemson University

Year in School: Junior

Hometown, State: Floyd, Virginia


Why did you choose to major in agricultural education?  Since I can remember, I have dreamed of becoming a teacher. The subject was in the air until my junior year of high school, after a few conversations with my advisor, Bruce Caldwell. We discussed how I couldn't set my mind one one subject in agriculture, so he suggested ag ed. He knew this would fuse my dream of being a teacher and all of my interests in agriculture. Now that I am halfway through college, I can't imagine pursuing any other degree. 


What are your professional goals?  I plan to teach agriculture in a high school in South Carolina or Virginia. My goal is to share my passion of agriculture with students and create strong advocates for the agriculture industry. 


What has been the best part of your internship?  One thing I love about agricultural education is that each teacher runs their classroom differently. Throughout the internship, I have loved seeing how over 45 individuals have impacted agricultural education in a variety of ways. The examples of hands-on learning activities, FFA events, and the unique SAE projects have provided me with many ideas that I cannot wait to incorporate into my own classroom. 




Professional Development

savannah.jpgName: Savannah Graves

School: New Mexico State University

Year in School: Senior

Hometown, State: Las Cruces, New Mexico


Why did you choose to major in agricultural education?  When I graduated high school I did not plan on starting in ag ed, I really wanted to go into wildlife biology. When I began signing up for classes, I quickly realized it was not the place for me so I went to an area that was familiar, AXED or Agricultural Education and Extension. Growing up in 4-H and FFA my entire life, it was something that I knew very well. In college, a lot of my peers were individuals that I had grown up with, so they became my extended family. As I began to grow through the program, I started to find my niche. I really enjoy working with the youth of ag and helping them succeed. I realized that I had been teaching for many years, prior to college, and my biggest passion is helping others achieve their goals. As I have grown through the ag ed program, I have also realized that I can help students achieve their goals and pursue other goals they may have not had the opportunity to know about before. 


What are your professional goals?  My professional goals are to obtain a master's degree in something. After receiving my master's, I would like to be an agriculture teacher. I love my home state of New Mexico, but I am not set in stone to staying there. Depending on where life takes me, depends on where I will end up.


What has been the best part of your internship?  The best part of this internship has hands-down been the people. I have now expanded my network by adding many outstanding individuals, but I have also created life-long friendships. I also got the opportunity to attend and help with the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy or (NATAA) which was phenomenal! Watching four fantastic facilitators teach teachers how to teach inquiry was amazing. I have now grown my resources for my classroom tremendously. These past eight weeks have been great and I now have many more tricks for my teacher box, and more fellow teachers to "sit down with" at national convention one night. 


Teach Ag

Elisa Russ.jpgName:  Elisa Russ

School:  Iowa State University

Year in School:  Junior

Hometown, State:  New Hampton, Iowa


Why did you choose to major in agricultural education?  I chose to major in agricultural education because I wanted a career that was challenging, but rewarding.  We always hear that "no two days are the same" for agriculture teachers, and that is really appealing to me. I also love knowing that my work is going to have purpose and I have the opportunity to really leave an impact on the next generation of agriculturalists and leaders.


What are your professional goals?  My professional goals start with beginning my teaching career at a rural high school in Iowa. I hope to earn my master's degree in agricultural education within five years of receiving my undergraduate degree. My final goal is to spend the entirety of my career in education, at some capacity, whether that's teaching at a local agriculture program, serving as a teacher leader, or even as a state agricultural education staff person. 


What has been the best part of your internship?  The best part of my internship has been the network I've developed. Working with my fellow interns, the Teach Ag and NAAE staff, and others has been wonderful, as they have all helped my passion for agricultural education grow. I feel very lucky to have these people help guide me during my journey as an agriculture teacher!


Looking for great and free resources for your classroom? Check out this great freebie from Realityworks!


Give your students a daily reminder of the importance of agricultural education with this free classroom poster by Realityworks. Click here to request a printable copy for your own classroom.

This is an article from the July 2017 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


By Jamey McIntosh, RealCareer Product Manager for Realityworks, Inc.


jamey mcintosh.JPGIn Wisconsin, where Realityworks’ headquarters is located, we celebrate Dairy Month every June. For those four weeks every year, businesses, schools and individuals host events and create awareness of the impact that farmers and dairy producers have on Wisconsin’s culture and economy. This month, I had the opportunity to exhibit, network and speak with local educators at the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators’ (WAAE) summer conference. Earlier in June, I also had the privilege of taking my wife and four kids to the Calumet County Farm Days celebration on the eastern side of the state. Both events provided me, personally and professionally, with a firsthand reminder of the outstanding work that agricultural education is doing for our students and for our future workforce.


When I think about the needs that we face in developing a workforce that will keep our country competitive, I think primarily of soft skills. In fact, I hear that concern from educators throughout the field of Career and Technical Education (CTE). Knowing how to act appropriately in a job setting, how to communicate effectively, and even how to search for a job are skills that many educators could say has become a lost art. (In fact, we as a company have heard repeated pleas for resources that help students develop soft skills; it’s why we created the RealCareer Employability Skills Program). We have seen an uptick in the need to teach these skills.



Despite consistently hearing how important soft skills are for today’s generation of students, one thing was also made clear to me on my recent trips to WAAE and the farm days celebration: agricultural educators are getting it right. On my trip to Calumet County, I watched, impressed, as students politely greeted my family and me. Wearing dark blue t-shirts that proudly stated “Brillion FFA” on the front in neon yellow, these students looked me straight in the eye when I talked, greeted me with “yes, sir” (and “no, ma’am” to my wife). They confidently walked us around the barn, explaining the milking process, the importance of hard work and how different jobs were for different needs within agriculture, listening to our questions and answering politely. It was through the students of the Brillion district of the Wisconsin FFA Association that I saw the workforce of tomorrow being formed… and these polite, informed, hardworking and innovative students indicated that the future is bright.


However, this bright future is not something that just happens, despite what some might think. I’ve spent time with agricultural educators across the country as they consider the best ways to engage their students and implement interactive learning aids like our own animal and plant science models, and I’ve seen firsthand the hard work that is put into helping students develop both employability skills and technical, job-related skills. At the WAAE conference, I was surrounded by educators taking time out of their summer to learn about electrical wiring wall panel creation, forestry best practices and other career development practices.


When building our future workforce, we need to remember that hands-on learning and project-based learning are great educational tools. After all, the FFA motto includes “learning to do and doing to learn;” it is through this idea that hands-on learning becomes so important. Unlike other core educational classes, it is the hands-on training that gives CTE students a leg up when looking at future employment – it’s not just theory being taught; it is actual training and doing that prepares our students for the careers of tomorrow.


StudentUsingPigModel.jpgProject-based learning helps students connect the dots and helps them understand why they are learning what they are. This is important for the workforce of tomorrow; business and industry are looking for successes. Projects give students the ability to go from start to finish and work through the complications and challenges that come with their experiences.


Finally, it is important that educators be results-driven – and this is one concept that agricultural educators can do and are doing a good job of. In a constantly changing economy, focusing on results and skill development is vital to the success of our future workforce. There are so many different aspects of our workforce that can be taught. Getting students to understand that results matter and following both procedures and protocol will put them ahead of the curve when it comes to career advancement.


I saw all of these concepts in action at the WAAE conference and at the western Wisconsin farm days celebration last month. By continually focusing on these concepts, agricultural educators are helping ensure that today’s students are prepared for tomorrow’s workforce. They deserve a sincere thank you for making this difference.




Give your students a daily reminder of the importance of agricultural education with this free classroom poster by Realityworks. Click here to request a printable copy for your own classroom.

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