On August 31, 1971, seven societies voted to become members of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology–one being the Crop Science Society of America. “I can say that a part of that team saw great value in becoming a CAST member because they believed in the same goal as Dr. Norman Borlaug,” stated Dr. David Baltensperger, a professor and department head of soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M University. That goal was to develop a vehicle that would provide information for decision makers and the general public by sharing the value in explaining new technologies that were coming on board to feed the world.
Baltensperger finds CAST’s many services beneficial as they allow CSSA’s members to be participatory in not only the discussion and dispersal of credible, scientific information, but additionally in the development of various CAST publications and educational material. “By being a member, CSSA is able to engage our membership in the work of CAST and link them to the services that CAST produces.”
Much like Drew Lyon, Baltensperger stresses the importance of becoming a member of CAST. “This organization can serve as an outlet for various societies as they search for avenues to connect information to their audiences. We all, as societies, have matters that require our participation–the development of new technologies requires us to make the public aware of their benefits and the best management practices when using the technology.” Baltensperger states that he joined as an individual member of CAST “once upon a time” because he felt that agriculture in general was much more than just the field that he was connected to. “All who are involved in the agricultural industry need to come together as scientists and agriculturalists to help make credible, science-based information readily available to the public. CAST is the perfect organization to serve as the leading force of this undertaking.”
“Helping to drive CAST’s mission is so important,” states Baltensperger. “It plays a real role in developing the thought process of the public. If we are not at the table with credible, science-based information, then the voids can easily be filled with junk. The obvious cost of misinformation is high–some occasions more serious than others–but misinformation should not be the only information available.”
If you are interested in reaping the benefits of CAST, as does CSSA, visit our website for more information or call us at 515-292-2125.
By: Kylie Peterson
Your donation to CAST helps support the CAST mission of communicating science to meet the challenge of producing enough food, fiber and fuel for a growing population. Every gift, no matter the size, is appreciated.