February 1, 2022

Farm Credit

CASE: Developing the next generation of agriculture

By: Kristie Matuszewski


A core pillar of Farm Credit East’s stewardship strategy is supporting the next generation of agriculture, commercial fishing and forest products. In addition to programs like GenerationNext and FarmStart to support up-and-coming producers, Farm Credit East also offers scholarships to support students interested in a career in agriculture or a related field, including both a scholarship for students in involved in FFA and a higher education scholarship.

Another key component of this strategy is supporting the educators who help develop these future leaders. Farm Credit East first connected with the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) back in 2016 as part of the financial cooperative’s centennial celebration. At the time, Farm Credit East committed funds to the development of an ag business course as well as providing scholarships for agricultural educators to attend CASE institutes.

The CASE Curriculum

CASE is a project of the National Council for Agricultural Educators, managed by the National Association of Agricultural Educators, which integrates science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts with hands-on, inquiry-based learning at the high school level. The CASE curriculum offers students four pathways: animal science, plant science, agricultural engineering and natural resources, along with an ag business foundations module, developed with support from Farm Credit East, that can be incorporated within any of the pathways. CASE institutes provide professional development for educators to offer this coursework in high school classrooms.

“CASE is critical to our agriculture teachers nationwide because of its academically STEM-infused instructional content. It provides them with rigorous instruction to prepare students for technical and scientific areas of agriculture,” said Nancy Trivette, director of the National CASE Initiative.


Of the more than 3,000 teachers CASE has certified nationwide, just over 200 are from the states Farm Credit East serves. And over the past five years, Farm Credit East has provided more than $90,000 in scholarships to more than 100 Northeast teachers.

“The scholarships are critical to the success of CASE nationwide,” said Nancy. “Often it provides the seed money that is crucial for a teacher to obtain supplemental funding to take advantage of a CASE opportunity.”

Farm Credit East typically offers CASE scholarships in the fall for ag educators to apply for funding to attend a course the following summer. Visit FarmCreditEast.com/ageducator for the latest application deadlines and information.

Ag Business Foundations Course

Nancy also noted Farm Credit East’s investment in the ag business foundations course. “That course is truly the result of Farm Credit East’s investment, and in my opinion, a great delivery model of foundational business concepts available to agriculture teachers,” she stated.

Farm Credit East is committed to the next generation of agriculture, and it’s through support of efforts such as CASE that the industry’s future leaders obtain the necessary skills to be successful. To learn more about CASE, visit Case4Learning.org.

This post is the second in our stewardship series. In our next installment, we’ll head to Western New York to learn more about Buffalo Go Green. In the meantime, you can learn more about the important work of Three River Farmers Alliance to connect farmers with expanded markets while increasing access to fresh, healthy food in the communities they serve.

Tags: education, community support, scholarship

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