Success Comes from an Engaged, Diverse Base
When CAST began in 1972, the organization used rotary dial phones, clunky typewriters, and snail-mail newsletters. The digital age changed the methods, but the basic premise remains the same-CAST fulfills its mission of communicating credible, science-based information, and it succeeds because of the consistent support of its members.
Seven scientific societies signed on as the first official members of CAST, and dedicated individuals began donating time and expertise. Charles A. Black served CAST in some manner-including president-from 1972 to 1988, and he became known as the organization’s “moving spirit.”
Norman Borlaug was a charter CAST supporter, and throughout the decades, hundreds of scientists, educators, and agriculturalists have contributed in various ways. Without the financial support of members, the commitment of those on the boards, and the expert input of task force volunteers, CAST could not have succeeded as a respected agricultural resource.
In recognition of the many who have contributed, the CAST staff and boards declare August 2017 as “Celebrate CAST Members Month.” Through Friday Notes, social media, and the website, the organization will be sharing historical information, highlighting founding members, and featuring examples of the many who have joined in this effort to promote ag and science-from long-time individual participants to CAST’s newest-and youngest-student member.
CAST Executive Vice President Kent Schescke recognizes the importance of active, diverse membership: “We have been working with the Board to strengthen our membership base–from teenagers to retirees, from nonprofit to corporate, from agriculturalists to consumers, and from educational institutions large and small. We know that all our membership categories help CAST achieve its mission.”
By: Dan Gogerty