July 2020

In this issue:

President's Message
Year in Review
New NACTA Members
Upcoming Events
Renew or Become a New NACTA Member


President's Message

NACTA is an organization many of us hold near and dear to our hearts. It affords us opportunities to delve into everything related to the educational mission and success of tertiary institutions offering agriculture and related disciplines: curricular and co-curricular, programmatic, faculty, staff, and students, etc. It provides us ample opportunities to share, learn from, teach, and support others. It is a venue by which life-long professional relationships are established, and, indeed, deep abiding friendships are forged. Undoubtedly, NACTA holds a dear place in our professional and personal hearts.

For these reasons and more, I am truly and humbly grateful for the opportunity to serve as NACTA President in the coming year. I plan to work closely with the talented and dedicated leaders that comprise the NACTA Executive Committee and the other members of the NACTA Leadership Team, including our colleagues from JulNet, as we strive toward continuing the successful transition commenced last year, and move toward an even more successful and vibrant professional organization. I learned a great deal while I personally witnessed the sustained and visionary leadership expressed by outgoing 2019-20 NACTA President Dr. Foy Mills, Jr. (Lubbock Christian University) and then Past-President Dr. Ann Marie VanDerZanden (Iowa State University). Together with President-elect Dr. M. Susie Whittington (The Ohio State University) I hope we can continue in those efforts. Along those lines, my immediate focus will be four-fold:

  • Reach out and re-engage the membership.
  • Improve and enhance communications across many levels.
  • Strengthen the NACTA Journal as a successful, viable and respected scholarly journal.
  • Expand educational and professional opportunities.

More will be shared in the coming months, but I hope you will join us as together we continue to travel along this exciting and rewarding journey.

J. Marcos Fernandez
NACTA President 2020-21


Year in Review

Wow, what a year! A year that began with a change for our professional society and concluded with the first virtual conference in NACTA’s history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, through it all, NACTA leadership and membership stepped up as I knew you would.

One of my first task as your 2019-2020 president was to sign a three-year contract with JulNet, LLC, NACTA’s new management firm, which began the implementation phase of the management transition plan emerging from the “NACTA Visioning Report, 2017-2019.” Please join me in thanking Dr. Mark Russell (Purdue), 2017-2018 NACTA president, and Dr. Ann Marie VanDerZanden (Iowa State), 2018-2019 NACTA president, for their exemplary leadership in getting us to this point. Julie Hewett, JulNet president, and her team, bring years of experience to the table and have provided exceptional support to NACTA this year. Together, we have navigated this significant transition in NACTA’s narrative. Though we have experienced some bumps along the way, I believe that NACTA is in a healthy position and poised for great things in the future.

Here are a few of the most notable things that happened this past year due to the efforts of so many.

  • Associations finances managed from a projected budget as established by the executive committee with monthly reporting.
  • Released a special issue of the NACTA Journal focusing on, “Engaging students in global agriculture.” Thanks to Dr. Melanie Miller Foster (Penn State), Dr. Frank Robinson (Univ of Alberta) and Elizabeth Davidson (JulNet).
  • Completed a total revision of the NACTA bylaws merging NACTA and the NACTA Foundation; a monumental task led by Dr. Daniel Foster (Penn State) with consultation by Dr. Jim Connors (Idaho).
  • Switched the annual conference to a virtual format in a matter of weeks (Thanks to Dr. John Campbell and New Mexico State University for your graciousness when we had to make the change).
  • In the midst of a pandemic, experienced the highest attendance at an annual conference.

I wish the best for NACTA is the coming year under the leadership of my friend, Dr. Marcos Fernandez (Purdue), 2020-2021 NACTA President.



New NACTA Members

NACTA had 16 new members in the last month. We hope you will join us in welcoming them!  

Gandura Abangandura Liz Combs Ganga Hettiarachchi Valerie Ryman
Amber Beseli Kendra Flood Kishore Joseph Hunter Smith
Elizabeth Carls Billye Foster Savannah Locke Rhonda Sutton
Jose Cisneros Lynn Geoffroy Haley Rosson Adrienne Tucker



We missed seeing you all face-to-face at the 2020 Annual Conference! Since we couldn't meet to make memories in New Mexico, tell us - What is your favorite NACTA Annual Conference memory from years passed?

Join the conversation with photos, videos and stories on Facebook and Twitter by using #NACTAChat.


Upcoming Events

Soil and Water Conservation Society 2020 Annual Meeting - July 27 - 29, 2020


Renew or Become a New NACTA Member

NACTA is the largest professional development organization that focuses specifically on the scholarship of teaching and learning in agriculture, food and natural resources.

Need to renew your membership? Want to invite a colleague to join? Want to change your membership status? Visit the membership page here.

We appreciate your NACTA membership!