by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Agrimarketing : May 2009
59 CAST:32 Feature Story 5/13/09 12:34 PM Page 59 AGRI-MARKETERS’ UPDATE CAST—AVOICEFORAGRICULTURE T by Laura DeBoer, CAST Editorial ProjectManager he Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) is a nonprofit organiza- tion composed of 36 scientific societies andmany individual, student, company, nonprofit, and associate societymembers. Unlike somany organizations today thatmarket sensationalism and political bias under the guise of “agricultural fact,” CAST’s only “agenda” since its inception has been to compile and communicate objective, science-based information. The CASTmission is to assemble, interpret, and communicate credible science-based information regionally, nationally, and internationally to legislators, regulators, policymakers, themedia, the private sector, and the public. In 1970, a planning committee was convened by theNational Research Council of theNational Academy of Sciences to discuss “The Role ofAgricultural Scientific Societies.” Representatives of 16 scientific societiesmet to discuss the neworganization. The consensuswas to pursue further “the idea of an independent association of the agricultural science societies.” In 1972, CAST was chartered in Iowa as a nonprofit corporation for “charitable, educational, and scientific purposes.” During the nearly 37 years since itwas chartered, CAST has grown froman initial group of seven founding scientific societies to its current membership of 36 societies. Representatives fromeach of these organizations, alongwith an executive committee, formthe CAST Board of Directors. CAST relies on the dedication, energy, and scientific expertise of its volunteer directors to identify and select topics for publications and to help carry out the CASTmission. PEER REVIEWED PAPERS CAST has an impressive record of publications since its founding. The publications arewritten and peerreviewed by volunteer task force of experts such as scientists, profession- (L to R) CAST President-elect Todd Peterson, President Henry Shands, Past President Kassim Al-Khatib, and former Presidents Ed Runge, Stanley Fletcher, and Harold Coble. (Inset) CAST Executive Vice President Dr. John Bonner (l)with Norman Borlaug at theWorld Food Prize in DesMoines, IA. ences or uses. For example, CAST prepared a Special Publication about Avian Influenza Vaccines, in conjunctionwith USAID,whichwas used primarily by public administration officials. CAST then excerpted a portion of the document into a CAST Commentary to cover themost important aspects in a shorter version for legislators and regulators. The types of CAST publications include: • Commentaries (4-8 pages) • Issue Papers (12-20 pages) • Special Publications (often in conjunctionwith an outside group) • Task Force Reports (40-200 pages) “Communicating science requires a special skill in balancing the logic, facts, and truths fromcompeting hypotheses and experimental results,” says CAST PresidentHenry Shands. “The emotions and politics often involved in those eventsmust be carefully set aside to allowan international impact. For example, 50 differentmedia outlets picked up the story of a CAST Issue Paper “The Safety ofMeat,Milk, and Eggs from Animals Fed CropsDerived from Biotechnology”within 5 days of publication.Another CAST Issue Paper, “The Role of Transgenic Livestock in theDevelopment ofNew Medications,”was covered by top newsmedia, including the Boston Globe, CBSNews, FoxNews, theNew York Times, andUSAToday. Forthcoming CAST publications include three CAST Commentaries, seven Issue Papers, and one Special Publication; topics cover air,water, and land issues associatedwith agriculture; transgenic and cloned animals; bioenergy; endangered species and agriculture; energy flowin agricultural systems; ethical and animal welfare implications of animal (more on page 60) May 2009 s Agri Marketing 59 als, and specialists in the field. CAST also produces aweekly e-mail newsletter, “Friday Notes,”which is sent to allmembers to keep them updated on current pertinent agricultural information. CAST publishes different types of publications for different audi- unbiased analysis and interpretation of the science. CAST authors are selected not only because they are at the top of their fields in the subject matter, but also because they understand and are expected to uphold these principles of scholarship.” CAST publications have hadwide,
May 2009 Supplement