May 2022

In this issue:

NACTA 2022 is Right Around the Corner!
NACTA Featured Member - Mark Kistler
Upcoming Events & Deadlines
NACTA is Getting a "Brand" New Look

Welcome New NACTA Members!
Renew or Become a New NACTA Member


NACTA 2022 is Right Around the Corner!

The tours and events are scheduled, the speakers are prepared, and the workshops are set. The only thing we are waiting for is you! With only 6 weeks until the beginning of the NACTA conference, the final preparations are falling into place and we are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to gather after a three-year hiatus from meeting in person. At this annual meeting, you will be able to connect with and learn from others who share the same 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 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 meeting. Please note that you will need to register and be signed in to view any conference events or presentations.

Additional meeting details and registration can be found at We can't wait to see you in June!

NACTA Featured Member - Mark Kistler
Each month we sit down with a member to highlight their academic and professional career, and to see how they are making the best of their membership in NACTA. This month’s Featured Member is NACTA NARRU liaison Mark Kistler. 

Mark Kistler
NARRU liaison, Dean of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Abraham Baldwin in Tifton, Georgia

How long have you been a member of NACTA? When was your first meeting?
Probably 2004 was my first year as a member when I was at the University of Florida. I haven’t been able to go to every conference every year but I try to go as often as I can. I’m now a lifetime member.

Looking at your time with the Association, what have you most enjoyed doing? What are you looking forward to?
The thing I enjoy most about NACTA is that we are all teachers. Even though I have a BS and MS in animal science my PhD is in education. I’ve always been an educator. What I like is interacting with other teachers who are passionate about teaching, student success and looking for ways to improve themselves and others. The NACTA conference is absolutely my favorite conference. It is a laid back, great environment to network and learn. I love the day that we do tours and I’m glad that NACTA continues with that. When we are there, we are all on even ground, no matter our history or background.

There is a lot of benefit to my faculty since we are mainly a teaching college. I want to come to this year’s meeting but I’m more excited to build our NACTA membership and I want to send one of them. I’m glad to see that we are finally having a face-to-face conference. It’s been too long and I’m looking forward to the interaction. So much of what I glean at a conference is while sitting down to a cup of coffee with someone, sitting next to someone on a bus, or sitting and sharing a box lunch. It broadens my professional network, and we all have the commonality of a love of teaching and learning. Good teaching is good teaching, no matter your background. We are all there to learn and to learn from each other. I’m also excited about the leadership we have now, the leadership we have onboard and what new chapters we have moving forward.

Tell me about NARRU and what your role as the liaison entails.
NARRU is a group of non-land grant agriculture renewable resources universities. My role as the liaison is to bring back to (the NARRU) Board and membership what is happening in NACTA and vice versa. The Board meets a few times per year and the big thing that we work on as a group is the capacity-building funds through the USDA that we work with legislators to approve. We’ve been trying to come up with some good projects to submit this year since these funds and opportunities have really helped schools develop programs. It helps bring the applicant pool down a little smaller so the grants aren’t as competitive.

We also work on awards and professional development to recognize people for their efforts. 40% of people working in agriculture now in the US come from a NARRU institution. NACTA was developed from a group of non-land grant institutions and, at one time, they didn’t allow land grant universities into the organizations. It’s so incredible to see how things have changed and to learn where we came from as an institution.

What are your ideas for how NACTA and NARRU could be working on Professional Development together or complimenting each other?
There are opportunities in teaching where we could partner, especially for one of these capacity grants, where we could focus on teaching and learning with NACTA members as co-collaborators. Sharing this information and these resources among both groups is a positive bond that we have.

Anything else that you would like to add?
NACTA is a great organization for folks who are teaching in agriculture and natural resources. If you are committed to teaching and learning this is a great place to be involved. This is where you need to be.


Upcoming Events & Deadlines

2022 AAAE National Conference 
May 16-19, 2022
Oklahoma City, OK

NACTA 2022 Annual Conference
June 20-24, 2022
Wooster, OH

NACTA is Getting a "Brand" New Look!
Meeting in person isn't the only change you will see this summer. After nearly a year of consideration, research and development, NACTA will be unveiling an entirely new look at the conference in Wooster. Keep your eyes peeled for more information when you get to Wooster.


New NACTA Members

NACTA had 28 new members in the last month. We hope you will join us in welcoming them!

Todd Beasley Leila Hickman - Olds College Michelle Santiago - Murray State University
Erin Bosch-Hannah Eric Kaufman - Virginia Tech Ravneet Singh
Liana Brughardt Cora Keber Caitlyn Tietje - The Ohio State University
Elizabeth Byers-Doten - Purdue University Jaclyn Kropp - University of Florida Jonathan Ulmer - Kansas State University
Alissa Carter - UT Jose Lopez - Texas A&M University Benard Walumbe - The Ohio State University
Savannah Currens - NC State University Samantha Lyle - Iowa State University Shannon Washburn - Ohio State University
Frances Victoria Dell - Purdue University Lisa McCormick - Virginia Tech University Andrew Weaver - NC State University
Madison Dyment - The Ohio State University Carolyn McGraw - Virginia Tech Bain Wilson - The Ohio State University
Sarah Harris Justin Rickard - Illinois State University Karen Wimbush - Ohio State
Maria Helm - UGA

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!