FFA Manuals and Student Handbooks
New Official FFA Manuals and Official FFA Student Handbooks are now available.
Work Backstage at FFA Convention
National FFA is now accepting applications for National Convention Backstage Arena Crew. Details.
FFA volunteer convention judges needed
The National FFA is accepting judging nominations for this year’s 2011 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. Agricultural Proficiency and Stars Over America awards will be judged Thursday, Oct. 20. (Proficiency and Star judges will be invited to an awards luncheon that day.) Agriscience Awards will be judged on Thursday, Oct. 20. National Chapter Awards will be judged on Wednesday, Oct. 19.
Convention judging is voluntary. FFA does not cover any judging expenses. Submit nominations on the form located here. Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Band, Chorus & Talent at National FFA Convention
Be a part of National FFA Band, Chorus or Talent.
New Century Farmers
The 2011 New Century Farmers have been selected.
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National Teach Ag Day 2012
Mark your calendar! National Teach Ag Day will be March 15, 2012. Details soon - in the meantime, check out www.naae.org/teachag for more about the National Teach Ag Campaign.
Professional State Association Awards - 2011 Applications Now Avaliable
NAAE will recognize state associations who have aggressively engaged in certain well-planned activities designed to serve the best interest of the members and the profession.
Professional State Association award winners will be recognized at the 2011 NAAE Convention.
State applications should be sent to their respective NAAE Regional Vice President postmarked no later than September 1, 2011.Application form
On Communities of Practice
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The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Friday Notes newsletter includes key stories regarding animals, plants, food safety, international issues, and general topics.
Academic papers and agricultural reports are also available for free download at the CAST website (http://www.cast-science.org/). Click HERE to access the July 8 issue of CAST Friday Notes.
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Free Downloadable PDF's Available from National Academies Press
Effective June 2nd, PDFs of reports that are currently for sale on the National Academies Press (NAP) Website and PDFs associated with future reports* will be offered free of charge to all Web visitors
Of particular interest to educators is a publication entitled:"Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World." This publication looks at the transformations colleges of agriculture need to make to shape their academic focus around the reality of issues that define the world's systems of food and agriculture and to refashion the way in which they foster knowledge of those complex systems in their students. Although there is no single approach to transforming agricultural education, a commitment to change is imperative.
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Federal Budget Cuts Threaten Career-Technical Schools
In a front-page story, the New York Times (7/10, A1, Rich, Subscription Publication) reports that federal funding for career and technical education schools "is at risk. President Obama has instead made it a priority to raise overall academic standards and college graduation rates, and aims to shrink the small amount of federal spending for vocational training in public high schools and community colleges," notably through Perkins grant cuts. The piece notes that "the only real alternative to public schools for career training is" the for-profit college industry, which is facing criticism for "sending students deeply into debt without improving their job prospects." Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently said in comments before the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, "at a time when local, state and federal governments are all facing tremendous budget pressure' advocates for vocationally oriented education 'must make a compelling case for continued funding."
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From U.S. Dept. of Education
U.S. Department of Education Releases College Cost Lists to Help Students Make Informed Choices
Today, the U.S. Department of Education released several College Affordability and Transparency Lists as part of its effort to help students make informed decisions about their choice for higher education. These lists are an important part of the Administration’s work to make college costs more transparent and to boost college affordability and accessibility. More broadly, this announcement reflects President Obama’s commitment to delivering a government that is more open, transparent and accountable to the American people.
“These lists are a helpful tool for students and families as they determine what college or university is the best fit for them,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We hope this information will encourage schools to continue their efforts to make the costs of college more transparent so students make informed decisions and aren’t saddled with unmanageable debt.” Read more
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From U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
USDA Announces Improvements in School Wellness Promotion
Changes will Engage Local Communities to Promote Healthier Lifestyles for Children
WASHINGTON, July 7, 2011 - USDA announced today improvements included in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that will enhance local wellness policies in schools in order to promote healthier lifestyles for children. Local wellness policies are an important tool for parents, local educational agencies and school districts to promote student wellness, prevent and reduce childhood obesity, and provide assurance that school meal nutrition guidelines meet the minimum federal school meal standards. Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program were required to have local wellness policies in place beginning in the 2006-2007 School Year.
"Parents understand that our commitment to teaching children healthy lifestyles requires local communities working together to make wellness a priority." said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The updated local school wellness policies will help bring more people into this process in order to ensure kids are surrounded by a healthy school environment."
Provisions set forth in the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 supersede previous requirements and expand the scope of wellness policies. The law now requires that additional stakeholders be included in the development, implementation and review of the wellness policies. Schools are now required to inform and update the public (including parents, students, and others in the community) about the content and implementation of the local wellness policies. These provisions will be effective beginning in the coming 2011-2012 school year.
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