On June 1, Kent Schescke moved smoothly into the role of Executive Vice President at CAST–his Midwest ag roots and his years of experience in Washington, D.C., give him the firm footing needed to hit the ground running. He also benefits from a two-week transition period with the previous EVP, Linda Chimenti. As Schescke said, “Linda and the other staff members here at the Ames office have provided the information and insights I’ve needed to settle in quickly. I appreciate their help and professionalism.”
A large part of Schescke’s rich ag background comes from his FFA connections. He served as an FFA student officer, taught agriculture education for 14 years, and then spent 24 years with the National FFA Organization and Foundation. “Kent has been instrumental in the overall success of the National FFA,” says a colleague. “He has led numerous divisions, departments, and teams toward the delivery of the FFA vision and mission.”
While Schescke handled numerous managerial and executive-level responsibilities in Washington, D.C., he is especially proud of the work he has done with agricultural education and youth development. This experience should serve him well, as CAST works with many universities and high school programs.
Along with the traditional publication and communication aspects of CAST, Schescke will take over several key programs that Ms. Chimenti successfully developed–including the popular Ag quickCAST publications and the new “Top Fifty Food Questions” video series. “I am also excited about the Ag Innovation Series,” said Schescke. “It is an ambitious project that examines smart science and global food security.”
Schescke is familiar with CAST’s history and mission. As he points out, “I have had the opportunity to work with CAST in many capacities. I have great respect for the organization and the work it does to elevate the importance of agricultural science and technology.”
Schescke’s experience and philosophy fit smoothly with CAST’s overall goals. He agrees that agriculture sectors face many challenges and opportunities, and he is positive about the future. “Advances in technology through research and innovation hold bright promise as long as we continue to secure the social license, political will, and funding to make it possible.”
Many members of CAST and other ag organizations sent words of welcome to Schescke. Dr. David Songstad, President of CAST, said, “On behalf of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Board of Directors, Board of Trustees, and Board of Representatives, we are very excited that Mr. Kent Schescke has accepted the offer to be the next Executive Vice President of our organization. I believe Kent will quickly build on the excellent work Linda has contributed over the past couple of years.”
Schescke reciprocates: “I have been impressed with the dedication and engagement of CAST board members. I look forward to working with them.”
Schescke was born in Nebraska, grew up in Missouri, and has worked in several states from Colorado to Indiana to Virginia. Now he has returned to the Midwest, and he brings with him plenty of agriculture insights and connections. As he puts it, “I am very proud of the experiences gained over a quarter century working for one of the most successful nonprofit youth development organizations within the agriculture, food, and natural resources sector.” CAST is also proud to welcome him as its new leader.
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