Thursday, August 10, 2017

CAST's Youngest Member: Digging Deep into Agriculture and the Dirt

Jack enjoys seeing how plants survive--
but he's tough on weeds.

August is "Celebrate CAST Members Month"

This week CAST would like to feature our youngest member, who recently reach out to CAST staff about joining. Jack Liebeck, an eighth-grader from California, is not like most 13-year-olds. Instead of filling his free time with Sports Center and video games, Jack prefers to get his hands dirty in his garden. "I have always been interested in plants. I have a wide variety, including carnivores, fruits, vegetables, palm trees, and more. It's quite fascinating to see how a single plant has the ability to survive in various weather conditions."

CAST staff members are impressed by Jack being so proactive in pursuing opportunities that further his education and passion for agriculture at such a young age. What makes his story even more captivating is that just a few months ago, he purchased a greenhouse and is working on a website to document his journey. "Learning about plants is fun for me and never feels like work."

Eventually, Jack would like to pursue a career in landscape architecture. "I have assisted in multiple landscaping projects and am always eager to do yardwork for others and myself." For now, he is working to gain experience and knowledge about the wide varieties of plants, environments, and career opportunities agriculture has to offer.

Jack's pumpkins flowered in May; jack-o-lanterns by October?
Jack found CAST while exploring the internet for articles to meet his school reading requirements. "I believe that CAST will be a great resource for science-based information--I look forward to reading through the large variety of publications. I encourage my peers to use the CAST website if they are interested in sound science. I am only 13 and some of the articles were above my reading level, but I was still able to understand most of the information provided because of the small data summaries throughout the articles--making it easier to comprehend."

CAST is proud to offer a free membership to all students and pleased to welcome Jack as our newest and youngest CAST member.

By: Kylie Peterson

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