“Collaboration and Innovation at the Forefront: A Recap of CAST’s 2023 Fall Annual Meeting at Texas A&M University”

College Station, TX: The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) held its highly anticipated 2023 Annual Meeting from November 6-9, hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife at Texas A&M University in College Station. This event marked a significant gathering for the organization’s three governing boards: Directors, Representatives, and Trustees.

David Baltensperger, a Board of Representatives member and Head of the Department of Soil & Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University expressed his enthusiasm about the event: “It’s been a real pleasure to host the annual meeting of CAST. We have great appreciation for the interaction with Texas A&M and the CAST organization over the years, and it’s just a tremendous opportunity to have all three boards from CAST be here in College Station.”

The meeting’s agenda was packed with board meetings, workgroup sessions, and insightful tours of Texas A&M facilities and various companies’ research and manufacturing sites. This year’s meeting focused on adaptive planning, budget discussions, and the review of annual processes, with an emphasis on fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Sally Flis, CAST’s President-elect from Nutrien Ag Solutions, highlighted the diversity and value of the meeting: “The CAST annual meeting is one of my favorite meetings to attend. There’s such a diversity in attendees that we get to talk about what’s happened to us personally and professionally in the last year and then figure out where we want to go in the workgroups in the future and learn about other publications that are coming out. It’s just a valuable time to connect with colleagues, the CAST staff, and friends we’ve all made during our time as members.”

A unique aspect of the CAST meeting is its ability to bring together professionals from various sectors within agriculture. Julia Herman, Work Group Liaison for Animal Agriculture and Environmental Issues at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, shared her perspective: “Coming to the CAST annual meeting is exciting for me because, as a veterinarian, I get focused on what animal care does and what we’re doing in the animal realm. This challenges me to get outside of my comfort zone and collaborate across the food and the plant industries within agriculture.”

CAST’s CEO, Chris Boomsma, underscored the importance of connecting with the younger generation: “It’s great to be here at Texas A&M University at the CAST annual meeting, and it’s been wonderful to connect with the boards of trustees, directors, and representatives. We were also thrilled to award the 2023 CAST Science Communication Scholarship to Megan Schill, a talented Ph.D. student passionate about advocating for science.”

Megan Schill, the recipient of the 2023 scholarship, expressed her gratitude: “I am very thankful to CAST for giving me this scholarship award. I am very excited to use it for conferences in the future. I think CAST is a great organization for encouraging students to improve their communication skills, and I am very thankful for this award.”

The 2023 CAST Annual Meeting in College Station was a platform for discussing the annual operations and a hub for networking, learning, and planning for the future of agricultural sciences and technologies. The successful event has set a high standard for future meetings, emphasizing the power of collaboration and innovation in the field.

For those who couldn’t attend or wish to relive the memorable moments of the 2023 CAST Annual Meeting in College Station, we’ve got you covered! We invite you to explore the vibrant essence of the event through our carefully curated collection of video highlights and photos. 

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