Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) - Becoming a Part of Dr. Borlaug's Legacy

In November I was elected to serve on the Board of Representatives for the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology ("CAST").  CAST is a nonprofit organization composed of  representatives of the scientific societies, commercial companies, and nonprofit or trade organizations. CAST was established in 1972 as a result of a meeting sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council. Its members today come from universities (like Purdue, Iowa State, Kansas State), food and agricultural companies (like Elanco, Dow Agrosciences, Monsanto), scientific societies, and industry trade organizations (like National Pork Board).  I am the representative for the American Bar Association's Agricultural Management Committee.

CAST's primary focus is the publication of white papers dealing with scientific issues in food and agriculture.  For example, in 2013 CAST published a paper on The Potential Impacts of Requiring Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food in the US.  This year a CAST white paper tackled
The Contributions of Pesticides to Pest Management in Meeting the Global Need for Food Production by 2050.  You can read these papers and others by downloading them on the CAST webpage.  They are free.
CAST does not push any political or corporate agenda.  Its mission is provide science-based information to legislators, policymakers, the media and the public.

CAST is a lasting legacy to Dr. Norman Borlaug.   Dr. Borlaug authored the first CAST publication and was a founder of CAST.  Each year CAST gives out the Borlaug Communication Award to someone who embodies and furthers Dr. Borlaug's work in feeding the world.  I am proud to honor Dr. Borlaug's legacy by being a part of CAST.  If your organzation would like become a member of CAST, visit the membership webpage.

By Todd Janzen


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