Dr. Richard Cavaletto selected as CAST President-Elect for 2015-16

Farm Forum

Ames, Iowa — In a recent election at the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), Dr. Richard Cavaletto was chosen as the President-Elect for 2015-2016. He will officially assume his responsibilities at the conclusion of CAST’s Fall Board Meeting in October. In 2016-2017 he will become the 44th President of CAST, a singular honor and responsibility dating back to 1972, when Charles A. Black and Norman Borlaug, along with other committed scientists, spearheaded the movement to “bring science-based information to policymaking and the public.”

Richard Cavaletto grew up along the central coast of California on a family-owned citrus and avocado ranch. Wanting to combine two passions, agriculture and engineering, he attended and received his B.S. degree in agricultural engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He also received graduate degrees in agricultural engineering from the University of California-Davis.

Following graduate school, Cavaletto worked at Oregon State University as an Agricultural Machinery and Safety Extension Specialist. While there, he worked extensively on safe tractor operations and improving efficacy and safety of aerial pesticide applications.

Cavaletto has spent 25 years on the faculty of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo — 22 years in the BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department and 3 years as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences. He also has served as the Director of the Agricultural Safety Institute at Cal Poly.

In his “vision and goals” statement, Cavaletto said, “CAST is at an important point in its development as we bring on a new Executive Vice President, Kent Schescke, and develop a strategic plan to guide us in moving forward the next five years. I believe there are several issues that we must continue to focus on if we are to ensure CAST remains vibrant and effective in the future.” He wants to help the organization develop ways to improve scientific literacy in the public, connect with stakeholders, and achieve a stable funding system.

Cavaletto emphasized CAST’s rich history and many notable accomplishments —specifically mentioning the numerous science-based publications and the Borlaug CAST Communication Award. He also thinks CAST is embarking on several new projects —such as the Top 50 Food Questions video series and the Ag Innovation Paper Series —that could help the organization reach existing and new stakeholders. “It will be an honor for me to work with the CAST leadership, staff, and members to continue to increase CAST’s stature and preeminence as a source of science-based information.”