Task Force Reports

Task Force Reports - R143 - April 2018

Many conflicting values and norms in our society related to the use of animals lead to increasing disagreements about what constitutes a “good life” for the animals in our care. Broadly speaking, applied ethicists have discussed two different approaches to this topic—one focuses on the consequences of using animals in particular ways, and the other on the morality of that use, regardless of the consequences. These two positions are reflected in the “animal welfare” and “animal rights” views, respectively. Another ethical perspective is that animals are owed a good standard of care because of the benefits we derive from them. Nevertheless, understanding both the science and the ethics of animal welfare is critical to understanding and reconciling differing perspectives about animal care and use. This task force report addresses the issue by examining these key topics: the current issues facing agricultural animal production, insights into the origins of current welfare concerns, major scientific advances that have occurred since the 1997 CAST Task Force Report, and outstanding challenges and priority areas for future research, coordination, and outreach relative to agricultural animal welfare. Cochairs: Candace Croney, Purdue University; Joy Mench, University of California-Davis; and William Muir, Purdue University. R143, April 2018, ISBN 978-1-887383-37-9, 52 pp., FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).

Task Force Reports - R142 - October 2011

The need to decrease concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) in Earth's atmosphere has been identified as one of the most pressing modern-day environmental issues. Agriculture, in addition to being affected by the climate, contributes to climate change through its exchanges of GHGs with the atmosphere. This report provides up-to-date information on the science of carbon sequestration and GHG mitigation for various sectors of U.S. agriculture, including logistical and economic considerations for implementing practices designed to decrease GHG emissions from agriculture. The report draws on elements of the related 2004 CAST Task Force Report, Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Challenges and Opportunities for Agriculture. Cochairs: Ron Follett, USDA-ARS-NPA; Sian Mooney, Boise State University; Jack Morgan, USDA-ARS-NPA; Keith Paustian, Colorado State University. R142, October 2011, ISBN 978-1-887383-33-2, 106 pp., $50.00; Interpretive Summary, 2 pp., free.  Quantity Discounts: Discounts are offered for purchases of 6+ copies of the same publication sent to a single address. Orders of 6 through 99 copies are discounted 25% from listed prices. Orders of 100 or more copies are discounted 35%.  Please contact the CAST office to place a discounted order.

Task Force Reports - R141 - May 2004

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are of increasing concern because of their potential role in promoting rapid and undesirable change in climate. Agriculture ironically serves as both a source and a sink for this increase in GHGs. This report analyzes agriculture's complex, pivotal role in this vitally important issue by considering policy options, implementation, and future monitoring and verification of GHG mitigation. The report outlines seven potential methods for agricultural mitigation of GHG concentrations. Cochairs: Keith Paustian, Colorado State University, and Bruce Babcock, Iowa State University. R141, May 2004, ISBN 1-887383-26-3, 120 pp., $50.00; Interpretive Summary, 2 pp., free.

Task Force Reports - R140 - June 2003

This comprehensive report offers an insightful, up-to-date analysis of the issues involved in pest control. The report is designed to offer policymakers, opinion makers, and educators an informed overview of the changing nature of these choices in the twenty-first century. The authors identify seven key issues that future IPM strategies must address: impact of biotechnology on agriculture; genetic diversity and pest adaptability; ecology-based management systems; increased understanding of microflora/fauna in the environment; training and technology transfer; government policies and regulations; and need for continuous assessment of strategy. Chair: Kenneth R. Barker, North Carolina State University. R140, June 2003, ISBN 1-887383-23-9, 246 pp., $50.00; Interpretive Summary, 2 pp., free.

Task Force Reports - R139 - January 2003

This extensive report compiles the most current, complete information available on mycotoxins in order to provide an understanding of their associated risks and impacts on plant, animal, and human systems. The report seeks to educate those making decisions that affect regulation and control of foods and feeds as well as to illuminate the potential for mycotoxins to impact international trade of commodities and food products. Among the topics covered are fungal growth and mycotoxin development, occurrence of mycotoxins in food and feed, mycotoxins and human disease, and mycotoxicoses of animals. Cochairs: John L. Richard, Romer Labs, Inc., Union, Missouri, and Gary A. Payne, Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh. R139, January 2003, ISBN 1-887383-22-0, 199 pp., $50.00; Interpretive Summary, 2 pp., free.

Task Force Reports - R138 - May 2002

The changing role of agriculture in urban settings is considered in this comprehensive report written by a twelve-member task force. The report frames "urban agriculture" in both historical and contemporary American society, providing a picture of geographic, demographic, and economic changes in rural and metropolitan life. Policy issues such as land preservation, alternative market opportunities, sprawl, taxation, and food security are considered. Research and educational challenges are presented for consideration by those at institutions of higher education, including land-grant universities. Cochairs: Lorna Michael Butler, College of Agriculture, Departments of Sociology and Anthropology, Iowa Sate University, Ames, and Dale M. Maronek, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. R138, May 2002, ISBN 1-88783-20-4, 124 pp., $50.00; Interpretive Summary, 2 pp., free.

Task Force Reports - R137 - March 2001

This CAST report provides policymakers, community leaders, and farmers with a guide to help weigh the advantages and disadvantages of contract farming and other forms of verticial coordination in agriculture. The report analyzes how vertical coordination in the food chain can change rural communities that have farming-dependent economies. The report also addresses the role of electronic commerce in rural development. Authors: Cornelia Flora, North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Iowa State University, Ames, and Luther G. Tweeten, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics, The Ohio State University, Columbus. R137, March 2001, ISBN 887383-19-0, 40 pp., $25.00; Interpretive Summary, 2 pp., free.

Task Force Reports - R136 - September 2000

This report from CAST characterizes the overall U.S. risk for the occurrence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly called "mad cow" disease, as extremely low. The report summarizes the latest information and disease statistics on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), a unique group of fatal diseases that can affect the nervous systems of animals and humans worldwide. Cochairs: William D. Hueston, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, College Park, Maryland, and James L. Voss, Colorado State University, Fort Collins. R136, October 2000, ISBN 1-887383-18-2, 36 pp., $20.00; Interpretive Summary, 2 pp., free.

Task Force Reports - R135 - July 1999

A task force of 13 scientists discusses projected demand for human food and the importance of animal agriculture in meeting these needs. Chair: Eric Bradford, Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis. R135, ISBN 1-887383-17-4, July 1999, 92 pp., $30.00; Interpretive Summary, 2 pp., free.

Task Force Reports - R134 - June 1999

A CAST task force of 6 scientists provides recommendations to help better understand all aspects of hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico and other areas of the world, and to decrease the Gulf hypoxic zone. Chair: John A. Downing, Department of Animal Ecology, Iowa State University, Ames. R134, ISBN 1-887383-16-6, June 1999, 44 pp., $20.00; Interpretive Summary, 2 pp., free.