Tuesday, August 20, 2019

7 Radio Clips, Episodes, and Shows About Current Ag Issues

Here is a little tidbit about the CAST staff: A couple of us are former radio broadcasters, which means the medium (podcasts, too) reserves a special place in our hearts. 

And, naturally, we enjoy sharing various forms of ag communication. So, here are seven episodes, clips, and shows that we’ve shared in Friday Notes or on social media throughout 2019 that talk about current issues in agriculture.

Dr. Alison van Eenennaam - Animal Genetics, Food Marketing, and World Hunger
The Canteen Podcast with Ally Houston
From the website: “Dr. Alison van Eenennaam is a public sector academic at the University of California Davis using science to improve the efficiency of agriculture. I really think that this is a dynamite episode that reveals some truths about beef and dairy production that are not widely known, but should be. We talk about world hunger. GMO, food marketing, and how ruminant agriculture has its place at the table.”

'I Rue The Day We Ever Became Farmers': In Rural India, A Struggle To Survive
This story aired in early 2019 and displays the struggle of Indian farmers in a time when farmers across the world are feeling the stress from poor crop yields and low profits. 

176: Jan Libbey of One Step at a Time Gardens on Scaling Up, Scaling Down, and Partnerships and Networking
Farmer to Farmer with Chris Blanchard
While new episodes have not been produced since the podcast creator’s passing in 2018, these episodes (like the one above) provide insights from real farmers about their production and marketing practices for their small-farm businesses. The episode above was the last produced.

Newsline and Features
The USDA provides daily clips of ag-related stories ranging from farm computer usage data to crop conditions to nutrition advice. 

#88: Our Food Choices & Climate Change. The Science & Facts ~Frank Mitloehner
From the website: “Dr. Frank Mitloehner joins us to help unpack the reality of all things livestock, agriculture, and the industries’ associated planetary impact. It’s a complex multi-faceted subject, yet easy to follow with Frank at the helm.”

Organic Food
Science Vs.
From the website: “It’s an epic three-way battle this week -- organic vs conventional vs …science. Three out of every four American grocery stores sell organic products, but what are you really getting when you buy them? Better taste? Fewer toxic chemicals? A cleaner environment? Farmers Mark, Andy, and Brian Reeves, nutritional epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Bradbury, Prof. Cynthia Curl, and Prof. Navin Ramankutty help us sort it all out.”

191 – Indian Farmers Protest for Technology Access
Talking Biotech Podcast with Kevin Folta
While Dr. Kevin Folta, the 2016 BCCA winner, produces many insightful episodes featuring the various ways biotechnology can or could impact agriculture and medicine, we’re pretty fond of his interview with Dr. C.S. Prakash, the 2015 BCCA winner, about the current genetically engineered Bt crop use issue in India. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

This is How We Do It: Learn About CAST's Work

In honor of National Nonprofit Day (August 17), we are sharing how CAST operates in order to fulfill our mission.

CAST is a designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which means we rely on charitable contributions from our supporters and members (along with grants) to accomplish our work. Without that support, we wouldn’t get very far. 

What We Do
CAST focuses on communicating research 
addressing some of today’s challenges in agriculture and food sciences. 

We synthesize credible studies to provide a balanced, comprehensive look at the challenges and recommendations that are part of topics such as food waste, animal ethics, gene technology, food labeling and so much more. 

Communicating science is part of our mission, which has remained largely unchanged since CAST came into being nearly 50 years ago. 

How We Do It
Our authors--experts and researchers in industry and academia who specialize in our paper topics--volunteer their time to write, edit, fact-check, peer review, and find funding to ensure these publications can reach our audiences--legislators, the media, farmers, students, and anyone interested or impacted by the topics we cover. We want to provide credible, balanced resources to aid the decision-making process for complex issues.

We want to provide these publications for as long as possible and remain a reliable source for those who look to CAST as a non-affiliated authority on agricultural and food science issues. 

3 Things You Can Do
Whether you're a member or just interested in staying in the loop, we have a few ways you can be more involved with CAST:

  1. Use our free reports, issue papers, and commentaries to spread awareness and information about agricultural issues. 
  2. If you think others would benefit from our publications, share our information with them. Follow us (@CASTagScience) on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop about our upcoming publications and announcements. 
  3. If you really like us and believe in what we do, please donate or become a member--we have a lot of options. And your contribution may qualify as a tax-deductible gift!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

CAST Announces Science Communication Scholarship

In 2018, we launched the first CAST Science Communication Scholarship*. This year, we’re getting more hands on.

We’re encouraging graduate students at the University of Arkansas to show us how they want to communicate their research to audiences outside their research community. By creating a 90-second video or podcast, or an infographic, students will creatively convey an exciting component of their research. 

After students submit their work, a panel of judges will provide feedback to the students to help strengthen their science communication strategy. Selected students are invited to the CAST Annual Meeting, held at the University of Arkansas, to network with like-minded scientists from across the nation, as well as participate in the sessions focused around trends in agriculture and communicating important ag-related issues.

Selected students will also receive a stipend as part of the scholarship and have their work displayed on CAST’s social media pages.

If you are a graduate student at the University of Arkansas:
Check out the application process, resources, and other useful information in our Google folder.

If you know a graduate student at the University of Arkansas:
Send the scholarship information along: http://bit.ly/CAST-SciCom-Scholarship-2019We’d love your help spreading the word and getting in touch with the next generation of science communicators.

2018 Scholarship Winners
Five students from the University of California Davis received the scholarship and attended our annual meeting held at the UC-Davis campus. You can read why they believe science communication, especially in their research areas, is important to them below.

Maci Mueller -- Gene editing in livestock production systems
Mackenzie Batali -- Food science, specifically coffee sensory research
Sarah Klopatek -- Beef sustainability 
Alonna Wright -- Microbial communities within crop soils
Rylie Ellison -- Agricultural and environmental chemistry

*CAST rotates its scholarship eligibility based on the location of its annual meeting. As the scholarship grows, we hope to include and support more students, regardless of the location of our annual meeting.