Thursday, May 24, 2018

Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST)

Summary of Activities January–May 2018

Regulatory Barriers Rollout
On March 22, CAST released Issue Paper 59, Regulatory Barriers to the Development of Innovative Agricultural Biotechnology by Small Businesses and Universities, in Washington, D.C. Dr. Alan McHughen, a biotechnology specialist and geneticist at the University of California, Riverside presented key findings to an audience at The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. On March 23, Dr. McHughen conducted briefings for Senate staffers in the morning and for House staffers at a noon lunch seminar.

CAST Annual Report 2017
“Reaching New Heights” was the theme of the report, released in March, which contains the following information:
  • Letters from Nancy Reichert (current CAST President) and Kent Schescke (CAST EVP)
  • Spring and Fall Board Meeting summaries, publication rollout info, strategic plan update, Borlaug CAST Communication Award winner highlight, membership list, Board of Trustees updates, financial summaries, and social media growth overview
Animal Welfare Rollout
On Monday, April 23, Dr. Candace Croney, one of the task force cochairs, presented highlights and key findings of Task Force Report 143, Scientific, Ethical, and Economic Aspects of Farm Animal Welfare, at three venues in Washington, D.C. The off-the-hill presentation was cohosted by the Animal Ag Alliance at the American Farm Bureau Federation offices and via zoom video conferencing. Dr. Croney then presented to House staffers at a National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research (NC-FAR) Lunch-n-Learn seminar and to Senate staffers in the afternoon.

Borlaug CAST Communication Award Announcement
Dr. Marty Matlock was announced as the 2017 winner of the BCCA on April 24.
  • Matlock is currently the Executive Director of the University of Arkansas Resiliency Center and Professor of Ecological Engineering in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.
  • He is a premier communicator and internationally recognized expert through his global communication efforts in the area of agricultural sustainability.
  • The announcement took place at the USDA Whitten Patio in Washington, D.C.
  • An award presentation will occur at a breakfast side event at the World Food Prize Symposium on October 17 in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Dr. Jayson Lusk, 2017 recipient of the BCCA, spoke at the announcement about The Politicization of Food Consumption and Communication.
  • CropLife Foundation is the 2018-2020 sponsor of the Borlaug CAST Communication Award.
Spring Board Meeting
Directors and senior staff met in Washington, D.C., in April for two days of intense work on organizational policy and governance issues. The focus was on strategic planning, publication proposals, and development work.

OMEGA-3 Fatty Acids Rollout
On Tuesday, May 8, at the American Oil Chemists’ Society’s annual meeting in Minnesota, Dr. Don Beitz presented highlights of CAST’s newest special publication--Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Health Benefits and Dietary Recommendations. Those who were interested in this topic, but unable to attend the event, could tune in to the rollout through a live-stream video feed--thanks to the efforts of AOCS’s staff.

Board of Representatives Changes
  • Agricultural and Applied Economics Association – Jayson Lusk, Distinguished Professor and Head of the Agricultural Economics Department at Purdue University
  • American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) – Alex Thomasson, Professor at Texas A&M University
  • Corteva Agriscience, Agricultural Division of DowDuPont – Melissa Johnson, Foundation Science and Technology Leader
  • United Soybean Board – Tom Oswald, USB Director and Iowa Soybean Farmer
  • Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) – Dallas Peterson, Kansas State University Extension Weed Scientist

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