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Issue Papers - IP18 - May 2001

Individuals in the agricultural professions make valuable contributions to society, but the American public sometimes questions the relevance of those contributions and the impact of agriculture on the environment, human health, and the economy. This CAST issue paper was written to help agricultural professionals communicate clearly what they do and why it is important. The authors propose the development of a professional portfolio to be used instead of the traditional curriculum vitae. A portfolio would present career highlights and summarize accomplishments in terms that could be understood and appreciated by a broad spectrum of people--from the general public to funding agencies, colleagues, collaborators, and employers. Cochairs: James R. Fischer, Agriculture and Forestry Research System, Clemson University, and David A. Knauft, University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. IP18, May 2001, 8 pp., FREE. Available online ( AND in print (515-292-2125; fee for shipping/handling).

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.
Issue Papers - IP16 - July 2000

Exposure to synthetic and naturally occurring chemicals can affect important endocrine pathways and induce toxic responses. Authors from a variety of scientific disciplines contributed to the CAST paper, which provides an analysis of multiple, widely reported issues, such as altered reproductive development and increased incidences of cancer. Chair: Stephen H. Safe, Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, Texas A&M University, College Station. IP16, July 2000, 16 pp., FREE. Available online ( AND in print (515-292-2125; fee for shipping/handling).

Issue Papers - IP15 - June 2000

This issue paper helps pinpoint factors that need to be considered as farmers and others use soil tests as a guide to protecting the environment while producing economical food. The issue paper provides perspective on the increasingly important role of soil tests, which farmers have long used in making crop production decisions. Chair: Eugene J. Kamprath, Department of Soil Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh. IP15, June 2000, 12 pp., FREE. Available online ( AND in print (515-292-2125; fee for shipping/handling).

Issue Papers - IP14 - April 2000

The same farming practices that promote soil conservation can also decrease the amount of carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere and threatening a global warming. Agricultural practices that conserve soil and increase productivity while improving soil quality also increase the amount of carbon-rich organic matter in soils, thereby providing a global depository for carbon dioxide drawn from the atmosphere by growing plants. Authors: Norman J. Rosenberg and Roberto C. Izaurralde, Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Washington, D.C. IP14, April 2000, 8 pp. OUT OF PRINT, Available as download only.

Issue Papers - IP13 - February 2000

Findings are presented on the growing danger to national forests, recreational, and agricultural lands from noxious weed infestations. These infestations are causing costly and irreparable damage to wetlands, wildlife habitat, wildlands, rangelands, and aquatic and riparian areas on public and private lands all across the United States, especially in popular western recreation states. The release of the paper was scheduled to coincide with National Invasive Weed Awareness Week, February 28 through March 3, 2000. Chair: Barbra H. Mullin, Montana Department of Agriculture, Helena. IP13, February 2000, 18 pp., FREE. Available online ( AND in print (515-292-2125; fee for shipping/handling).

Issue Papers - IP12 - December 1999

This issue paper is a summary of the recent scientific developments that underpin modern biotechnology and a discussion of the potential risks and benefits when these are applied to agricultural crops. This introductory paper is intended for a general audience. Released at the Third Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in Seattle, December 2, 1999. Authors: Gabrielle J. Persley, The World Bank, Washington, D.C., and James N. Siedow, Department of Botany, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. IP12, December 1999, 8 pp., FREE. Available online ( AND in print (515-292-2125; fee for shipping/handling).

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.