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Agrimarketing : May 2009
59 CAST:32 Feature Story 5/13/09 12:35 PM Page 60 AGRI-MARKETER’S UPDATE/continued frompage 59 biotechnology; food, fuel, and plant nutrient use; food safety; soybean production systems; andwater, people, and the future. The CASTWeb site offers further details about forthcoming publications and provides access to dozens of Issue Papers and CAST Commentaries, offered for free to increase distribution and impact. TheWeb site also features a “ClustrMap” that shows howoften and fromwhere theWeb site is accessed. For its first year, endingmid-January 2009, the sitewas accessedmore than 26,000 times by individuals from151 different countries. AG EDUCATION Evidence of CAST’s desire to have an ongoing impact on agricultural issues is its involvementwith agricultural education. The CAST Graduate School Education Program “started as an offering of CAST’s ‘FridayNotes’ to all graduate students and has nowbeen broadened to a programfor all faculty and staff aswell,” notes CAST Executive Vice PresidentDr. John Bonner. “We offer the programto all uni- versities andwould hope thatmore would join inmaking this service available to their students and staff.” CAST also is a Champion Plus sponsor ofNational AgDay, an annual programthat includes specific components to encourage young people to consider career opportunities in agriculture, includ- COMMENTARY “We obviously have a critical need now,more than any time in the past, for CAST’s accurate, concise, science-based information.…CAST specializes in bringing together the knowledge and experience of scientists, summarizing it for broad impact, then communicating it locally and internationally. I have no doubt that CASTwill continuewith thismission another 36 years and beyond.” —Dr. Norman Borlaug—Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional GoldMedal; widely known as the “Father of the Green Revolution”; supporter and promoter of CAST since its beginning “CAST plays a crucial role in gathering and distilling scientific information on food and agricultural topics, andmaking itmore accessible and understandable to the public and to policymakers. Everyonewinswhen the scientific community provides informed analysis to assist the public debate on food and agricultural issues.” —Senator TomHarkin (D-IA)—Chairman, Senate Agriculture Committee 60 Agri Marketing s May 2009 ing student visits to CapitolHill and a student essay contest. Arecent addition to CAST’s educational commitment is Dr. Bonner’s participation on the author committee for the National Research Council’s newreport, “Transforming Agricultural Education for a ChangingWorld,” that proposes nine steps for institutions to attract top students and prepare themfor the challenges of tomorrow. CAST has been fortunate to receive the ongoing support of influential individualswho understand the importance of CAST’smission to communicate the science of agriculturally related topics. Fromscientists to politicians to educators, CAST is well respected for itswork. Like all nonprofit organizations, CAST relies on a variety of funding sources to support its activities. Throughout the 37-year history of CAST, a number of fundraising strategies and development initiatives have been used by staffmembers and volunteer boardmembers. The current plan, developed and implemented by Dr. Bonner, outlines CAST’s headquarters building in Ames, IA. howagricultural scientists, companies, nonprofit organizations, scientific societies, and individuals can provide the “Three I’s” that are essential tomaintaining CAST: Input, Impact, and Investment. Stakeholders provide input for future publications on topics of importance to agriculture nationwide andworldwide. They broaden the impact of CAST by communicating CAST information to colleagues and customers. Stakeholders to provide the investment necessary to support the activities of CAST. CAST is challenged by rising costs, an increasing number of companymergers, fewer members, and less available funding. Since its founding, CAST and the many scientists it represents have provided a strong, consistent voice for food and agricultural science through publications, presentations, and outreach activities. CAST has partneredwithmany outstanding organizations, both private and governmental, to communicate sciencebased information to awidening audience of its stakeholders. CAST will strive to continue itsmission andmeet its responsibility to provide information about the scientific and technological landscape of food, agricultural, and environmental issues. To find outmore about CAST, become amember, viewa complete list of publications, or to propose a publication, visit theWeb site at www.cast-science.org. AM
May 2009 Supplement