March 2021

In this issue:

President's Message
NACTA Featured Committee - EITI

#NACTA21 Early Bird Registration Ending Soon!
New NACTA Members
Renew or Become a New NACTA Member


President's Message

Across the land, in colleges and universities everywhere, March is normally the half-way mark of the Spring semester. By any and all measures, this academic year certainly has been a year like none other any of us could have imagined. And yet here we are, half-way through the Spring semester, three-quarters of the way through the academic year. Our students, faculty and staff colleagues, etc., are finding ways to navigate through and overcome unique challenges we have faced and continue to face.

I see this too within and across NACTA! NACTA members reaching out to fellow NACTA members as well as colleagues and friends at their home institutions, finding ways to support, uphold, and affirm one another. In this month’s newsletter, you will learn more about our EITI Committee and the great things this group of dedicated individuals does on behalf and in support of NACTA members. I want to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to EITI Co-Chairs, Carrie Pickworth (North Carolina State University) and Rebecca Oliver (North Dakota State University).

Stay well, stay safe,

J. Marcos Fernandez
2020-21 NACTA President
Purdue University


NACTA Featured Committee - Educational Issues and Teaching Improvement

Educational Issues and Teaching Improvement Committee - The Educational Issues and Teaching Improvement Committee (EITI) (a) solicits and responds to member needs regarding programs and activities for instructional improvement; (b) identifies, develops, sponsors, and conducts specific teaching and learning related activities such as Blue Ribbon presentations, round-tables, symposia, and workshops at the annual conferences; and (c) provides recommendations and assistance to the editor regarding the publishing of materials.

From an interview with Carrie Pickworth on February 24, 2021.

"For me, this has been a tremendous learning experience," Carrie said. "I became chair at the last meeting (2020) and we have a chair-elect, Becky Oliver, who will be taking over in 2022. She and I have been working together to take on this new adventure. It has been an odd year for both (the EITI and Conference) committees since we didn’t have the normal routine (to plan the annual meeting). We didn’t have the normal calls for speakers and workshop abstracts. In some ways, our job was taken care of in advance. In other ways, we took the time to work on other projects, like the webinar last semester. The EITI Committee hopes to host a webinar each semester going forward.

Our committee voted on 2 priority topics to cover in future webinars. 1.Online Assessment. Questions we will address include: How am I as a faculty member who is now teaching online for possibly the first time assessing my students? Is this the best way? Can we be doing this better? 2. Diversity. How do we incorporate equal opportunities into our classrooms? How do we acknowledge diversity and ensure equal opportunity for all in agriculture? How can we recruit from underrepresented colleges, regions, etc?"

We are trying to recruit speakers and younger faculty from among the membership to share their voices and opinions. The feedback we have been getting is that we are hearing from the same people all the time. We welcome NACTA members to nominate speakers for either of these topics by emailing the chair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by including the speaker’s name, topic of specialty, and email address.

NACTA President-Elect Susie Whittington (Ohio State University) asked, “What is your vision for what you believe this committee can contribute to our members and their development?”

"I think this committee should serve as an opportunity to continue professional development," Carrie responded. "We can recognize areas where our universities may be deficient or interpret existing opportunities to the agricultural disciplines. I often think, ‘How can this committee build training for more than just one academic focus of students?’ We have diverse academic levels represented in our committee and the membership. Our offerings should also reflect that.

Eventually, we may even want some of these virtual workshops tailored to specific groups. There is potential to be able to expand those offerings and highlight that. We have some great involvement from 2-year community college agriculture programs that are picking up and more adding more diversity into their programs. We’d like to draw them into the membership and serve them with resources and training."

If you would like to join the EITI Committee reach out to Carrie Pickworth or Becky Oliver.


#NACTA21 Early Bird Registration Ending Soon!

We are pleased to announce that registration for the 2021 NACTA Virtual Conference, to be held June 21-24, 2021 is still open. At this annual meeting of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA), you will be able to connect with and learn from others who share your passion for the improvement of teaching and learning in agriculture, food and natural resources. The annual NACTA conference will provide you with new teaching techniques, ideas, and resources. It is also one of the best professional development activities for networking with other teaching professionals where the common discipline is “teaching.”

By registering for the virtual conference, you will gain access to your choice of workshops, each of the accepted poster presentations, oral presentations, award presentations and the annual business meeting. Some events, like the poster and oral presentations, will be presented on-demand and available for 60 days after the conference. Please note that you will need to register and be signed-in to view any conference events or presentations.

The first price increase is on April 15, 2021. Don't miss your chance to save by registering today!

Additional meeting details and registration can be found at


New NACTA Members

NACTA had 25 new members in the last month. We hope you will join us in welcoming them!  

Tatiana Avoce Alejandro Gil Melissa Nelson
Carmen Benson Holly Henning Jean Paul
Samantha Blackwell Kelsey Knight Annie Pearson
Katherine Burke Linnea Langusch Justin Pulley
Lauren Clark Hongwei LI Linda Purvis
Torrie Cropps Courtney McCubbins Darla Romberger
Alyssa Degreenia Miranda McGuire Samantha Siemers
Justin Ebert Millie Murphree Scott Willard
Rickey Yada

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!