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6 Posts authored by: Julie Fritsch

Ongoing Grant Program Allows Educators to Attend Training, Purchase Resources


JOHNSTON, Iowa, and LEXINGTON, Ky., Sept. 27, 2016 — DuPont Pioneer and the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) announced today that Pioneer will award $175,000 in grants to agriscience educators to fund training and classroom resources that will help them implement advanced agriculture curriculum.


Grant recipients are teachers who are implementing Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) in their classrooms. CASE is a multi-year approach to agriscience education with rigorous educator training requirements and hands-on, inquiry focused learning activities. Teachers will use the grants to attend training, purchase equipment and materials, and conduct end-of-course assessments through CASE Online.


“CASE trains agriculture teachers to deliver high-level science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) principles to their students,” said Dan Jansen, CASE project director. “Teachers often have minimal resources to equip themselves and their classrooms to provide this rigorous, STEM-focused instruction. The grants from DuPont Pioneer are exactly what teachers need to fully implement the unique model of interactive, inquiry-based learning that we know is so effective.”


“Students learn teamwork, communication skills and hands-on science through the CASE curriculum, all of which provides the foundation for a career in science,” said Robin Habeger, academic outreach manager, DuPont Pioneer.  “Supporting agricultural science teachers through continuing education and classroom equipment is one way we are striving to assure food security for the projected 2050 population of 9 billion people.”


The DuPont Pioneer Global Giving Program is intended to improve food security by advancing agriculture through science, education and innovation, and to enhance the quality of life for farmers and their communities globally. Addressing the unique challenges of our local communities promotes economic growth, improved health and overall quality of life — all factors important to a healthy and strong business climate.


For more about CASE or the DuPont Pioneer grants, contact Miranda Chaplin, CASE Operations/Outreach Director.

Recently Cengage Learning (formerly Delmar) has created an agreement with CASE to provide 10% discounts to CASE teachers for selected titles used in CASE curriculum. Cengage has offered a promotional “kick start” to our partnership by extending free shipping for all orders until June 26, 2013 when teachers use the CASE Store to place textbook orders. To see the list of approved titles, open the attached PDF. You can access the CASE store at

In recognition of National Environmental Education week April 14-20, The Curriculum for Agricultural Science EducationTM (CASE) and National FFA Organization today announced new environmental and natural resource leadership opportunities for teachers and students, through continuing grant support from The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MOS).

The Mosaic grant provides scholarships for 40 teachers from 15 states to attend CASE Institutes this summer, where they will receive intense professional development in preparation for implementing CASE curriculums in schools. Students studying the Natural Resources and Ecology Curriculum will learn conservation history, energy and waste, forestry, wildlife, sustainable agriculture and management.

Based on field-testing feedback from the 40 teachers, CASE Institute will refine the Natural Resources and Ecology Curriculum, and then make it available on a wider scale during the 2014 school year.

"Mosaic's long-term support of the Natural Resources and Ecology Curriculum, including its sponsorship of teacher training, creates a means for teachers to use natural resources and ecology education to help students be career and college ready by the time they graduate high school," said Dan Jansen, CASE project director.

Mosaic's renewed support also finances leadership development in environmental and natural resources for select applicants of FFA's 550,000 student members. Students will develop environmental and natural leadership skills through experiential education, leadership development activities, a national proficiency award and career development event.

"Mosaic is driven by our mission to help the world grow the food it needs, and our commitment to protecting critical natural resources through conservation agriculture, watershed restoration, and nutrient stewardship is solidly reflected in CASE's efforts to prepare top graduates who will help solve complex global food and water challenges," said Chris Lambe, Director of Social Responsibility at The Mosaic Company.

The National FFA Organization, CASE and Mosaic Company partnership is a special project of the National FFA Foundation.  For more information about CASE, visit



Everyone knows program budgets are tight these days. It seems like every school board and staff meeting contains at least one more cut that you, the teacher, has to make while still providing the same level of services to a growing student body. That's why the sticker price of CASE can give some people a little heartburn.


"When teachers start to figure up the cost of attending a CASE Institute, purchasing things like LabQuests and sensors, equipment and consumables, the numbers can get high pretty quickly," said Miranda Chaplin, CASE Operations Coordinator. "That can be a little scary until they realize all the means available to offset those costs."


Many teachers find things like equipment sharing and training money available from their school greatly reduces their program's out-of-pocket CASE expenses, but another way to make CASE more affordable is by applying for and receiving an implementation grant or CASE Institute scholarship.


This year, through the generosity of five sponsors, CASE awarded 107 scholarships for teachers to attend CASE Institutes, some of which even covered travel. In addition to scholarships, DuPont Pioneer awarded $75,000 to teachers through their CASE implementation grant program. That funding allowed 32 teachers to purchase equipment and supplies from the CASE store and paid for 312 end-of-course student assessment accounts.


It seems that agribusinesses are recognizing the potential CASE has to create the kind of graduates they need, and are stepping up to help schools make it available.


"Feeding the world will require that more students understand agriculture and become future leaders in food and agriscience," said Michelle Gowdy, director of Community & Academic Relations for DuPont Pioneer. "We are working with others in education and in agriculture to ensure teachers have the best tools at their disposal to get more kids excited about agriculture and careers in agriscience."


In addition, numerous states, including Kansas, Washington, New Jersey, Iowa and Maryland have provided funding for their teachers to attend a CASE Institute and become certified to teach the CASE curriculum.


Chris Kaufman, an agriculture teacher in Indiana, received a CASE Institute Scholarship from Dow AgroSciences this year. Kaufman, who spent a year working for the Indiana Department of Education before returning to the classroom to start an urban agriscience program, has been instrumental in encouraging other agricultural educators in Indiana to adopt CASE. Indiana doesn't have an official agriculture curriculum, so teachers in the state are left to their own devices to put something together.


"Teachers aren't trained to be curriculum writers," he said.  "CASE helps us with the consistency, the sequencing of courses and scaffolding that we need."  He said the response to the scholarship programs from Indiana teachers was very good. Those scholarships will allow teachers to put a consistent, standardized curriculum in place that is co-curriculuar with science. Kaufman believes this will help administrators re-discover the value of agricultural education programs in their schools.


As CASE continues to grow, its coordinators plan to continue to expand its scholarship and grant programs. However, for people who want to implement CASE now, there are ways. "The money for CASE is out there," said Chaplin. "You just have to look, ask and apply."

Interested in CASE? Watch the CASE website for grant and scholarship opportunities coming soon!


Natural Resources & Ecology

The writers are putting the finishing touches on CASE's newest course, Natural Resources and Ecology, or NRE, and not a minute too soon, since there are two field test institutes scheduled for this summer. By attending a field test institute, teachers get first shot at being trained to teach CASE's NRE course. They also provide periodic feedback CASE will use to revise the course before it is released to the general public next year.


A foundation level course intended for sophomores, NRE will help students examine their own perceptions of the environment, move them through the process of understanding the management of natural resources, and culminate by encouraging them to look forward and think about policies and practices for the future.


Parker Bane, a CASE teacher who is hosting a NRE field test at his high school in Pontiac, Il,, is looking forward to implementing the curriculum because he believes it will expand on what he's already offering in that area. "We have a lot of students that like wildlife and like a lot of the things that are going on with wildlife," he said. "I don't think they understand all the career opportunities available to them in this area. I know the CASE take on it will include a lot of science, and hopefully that will help me market this not only to my traditional students who like hunting, fishing and trapping, but to students who are interested in things like wildlife biology, water quality, and other portions of the natural resources industry."


If you are interested in field testing the CASE NRE course next year, visit this link to download and complete a field test application.  Field test sites are chosen based on a variety of factors, including prior CASE experience, content knowledge and school demographics.


The CASE Natural Resources and Ecology Course is sponsored by CSX and Mosaic as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.  For more information about NRE and all CASE courses, visit the CASE website.


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Animal and Plant Biotechnology

Twenty-three agriculture teachers are right now, at this moment, helping CASE refine its newest course, Animal and Plant Biotechnology, or APB, by field testing it in their classrooms this year.


APB, a specialization course designed for juniors and seniors, challenges students to become independent learners in laboratory settings designed to mimic the environment found in biotech industry labs.  The course is designed to prepare students to work in biotechnology labs right out of high school, but also prepares them for the many biotech opportunities in higher education.


Through the course, students complete labs like DNA extraction and analysis using gel electrophoresis, bacterial transformation, and protein purification. They also identify GMOs in plants using lateral flow strips and polymerase chain reaction, and explore marker assisted selection, immunology, micropropagation, bioremediation, and biofuels.


APB also integrates core content and aligns with national agriculture standards, science standards, and common core state standards for English language arts.


APB is proving to be a rigorous course that requires a background in biotechnology for both the teacher and student. "We will be sending teachers who sign up for the APB institutes this summer textbooks so they can do some pre-work before they come," said Miranda Chaplin, CASE Operations Coordinator.


The APB course culminates in a student-designed research project for the Agriscience Fair. With regional, state and national agriscience fairs available, students will be able to exhibit their knowledge and skills pertaining to research and biotechnology, and the activity provides a tie-in with FFA.


Revisions based on field test feedback are already underway, and CASE is offering two institutes this summer where teachers can train to teach the new APB curriculum in their own classrooms next fall. To learn more or sign up, visit the CASE website.


The CASE Animal and Plant Biotechnology course is sponsored by the MetLife Foundation and the United Soybean Board as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.


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From our NAAE Partners:



CASE Institute Update


Agricultural Educators,


CASE staff is pleased to announce that enrollment in CASE Institutes for this summer is very strong. The following is a summary of the institute sites offered this year. If you are thinking about enrolling into a CASE Institute, we encourage you to register in the next few weeks to ensure there are seats available for the course you plan to take. Go to the CASE home page at to register.


Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

Kansas State University - Seats Remaining (Registration Closes May 31)

University of Nebraska - Seats Remaining (Registration Closes June 11)

University of Kentucky - Booked Full

University of Missouri - Booked Full

The Ohio State University - Booked Full

Tennessee State University - Booked Full


Principles of Agricultural Science - Animal

McNeese State University - Seats Remaining (Registration Closes May 31)

Texas Tech University - Seats Remaining (Registration Closes May 31)

South Central College - Seats Remaining (Registration Closes June 11)

The Pennsylvania State University - Seats Remaining (Registration Closes July 9)


Principles of Agricultural Science -Plant

University of Maryland - Seats Remaining (Registration Closes June 18)

Iowa - Booked Full

Oregon - Booked Full


Animal and Plant Biotechnology

Iowa - Seats Remaining (Registration Closes May 31)

Rutgers University - Seats Remaining (Registration Closes July 2)


Mosaic, through the help of the National FFA Foundation and NAAE, is offering scholarships for Florida and Louisiana instructors to attend CASE Institutes. Please contact Miranda Chaplin at for more information. These scholarships pay for all expenses related to institute registration (travel budget for FL teachers). CASE curriculum is provided at no charge to all teachers who complete CASE Institute professional development.


The United Soybean Board, with the help of the National FFA Foundation and NAAE, provides partial funding of the CASE Institute registration fee to any teacher interested in attending the new Animal and Plant Biotechnology course. This new CASE course is packed full of biotechnology laboratory experiences that model real-life industry skills and practices. This course is the real deal for those teachers looking to bring powerful STEM connections to their agriculture classroom. If you are interested in the USB scholarship, please contact Miranda Chaplin.


Congratulations to three new agricultural educators who are the recipients of the New Teacher Scholarship sponsored by National FFA Foundation "Impact FFA," which is a group of women who support school-based agricultural education. The 2012 scholarship winners are Alicia LePage of Missouri, Clarissa Lewis of Tennessee, and Lauren Nutter of Kansas.


CASE is proud of the professional development opportunities that are offered each summer. CASE Institute experiences challenge traditional thinking and provide the knowledge and confidence that teachers need to utilize true inquiry-based strategies for increasing student engagement and proficiency in agricultural science education. CASE employs our best and brightest certified teachers to provide the instruction at a CASE Institute. These teachers are using CASE in their own classrooms daily, and each teacher shares their personal experiences related to the impact that CASE has on them and their students.


CASE would like to thank the following teachers for their commitment to CASE and their professional excellence as a Lead Teacher for CASE Institutes this summer.


Carl Aakre, MN (Master Teacher)

Parker Bane, IL

Melanie Bloom, IA

Ben Booth, IA

Gary Bruns, IA (Master Teacher)

Ruth Chamelin, MD

Sheridan Clinkscales, TX

Doug Dodd, IA

Brandon Duff, MO (Master Teacher)

Lori Dyer, OH

Matt Eddy, IA (Master Teacher)

Leslie Fairchild, IN (Master Teacher)

Johnie Ferro, OR

Jaysa Fillmore, ID

Aaron Geiman, MD (Master Teacher)

Liza Goetz, MD

Amy Green, LA

Emily Hester, MD

Richard Horn, KY (Master Teacher)

Casey Jones, TX

Tim Lamb, OH

Troy Mayfield, CO

Tiffany Morey, NJ

Tim Ray, OR

Travis Reid, DE

Nichole Scholz, OR

Matt Simpson, KY

Shari Smith, IA

Misty Thibodeaux, LA

Liz Tinaglia, MN (Master Teacher)

Anna Warner, MD



CASE appreciates all of the help from teachers, FFA LPS staff, state Department of Education and Agriculture staff, post-secondary faculty, FFA Foundation staff, NAAE staff, and others who have made efforts to inform teachers across the country about CASE opportunities. Thank you to everyone working to promote the success of teachers and students in agricultural education.



Dan Jansen, PhD

Project Director

Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education