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Talkatone and USDA Conference Call

May 8, 2012


Yesterday, Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack hosted a conference call to discuss making college affordable and where agricultural education fits into the big picture of college and career readiness. I wanted to find a way to include my FFA members in the call and a colleague in Ag Education suggested I use the Talkatone App which works via a Google voice account. I mirrored my iPad to Apple TV which provided volume enough for everyone in my classroom to hear. I’m still trying to figure out why the mirroring feature turned off twice during the call (it was during the Q & A section), but we were quickly able to reconnect the mirror and get the sound on again.
Here are some of the key ideas as heard by my chapter Treasurer, chapter Reporter and myself during the experience.
* Education is important to the future of magriculture because we need researchers who are able to alter farming practices to help increase production
* People planning to go into conservation will need training about environmental science
* Entrepreneurs will be needed for local and regional food supply systems
* Science, especially research and development, will be needed to prepare a trained and highly skilled work force that can help meet the growing food production needs (an increase on 70% will be needed soon) of the global population
* 1 in 12 jobs in the US are connected to agriculture * K-12 programs are needed to encourage not only science and math, but agriculture as well
*Secretary Vilsack expressed that even with science education there needs to be room for agricultural education to support the hands on applications of science concepts.

The challenge issued to students on the call was to be ambassadors and advocates for agricultural education and career and technical education.

The iPad with Talkatone app and Apple TV were tools to connect my FFA members to the 9th most powerful person in the US.


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