Superior School Environments
Agricultural Education enhances traditional school environments by its spirit and culture of collaboration, unity and student achievement. Many student programs and projects directly impact the well-being of the greater school district.
Partners in Active Learning Support (PALS)
PALS is a mentoring program that matches Agricultural Education students with elementary and/or middle school students. The students serve as role models to help their mentees learn to set goals, build positive self-esteem and learn about the science and business of agriculture. Along the way, both the mentors and mentees learn the value of helping others.
Green projects are a new trend in Agricultural Education programs. There are new and creative things happening across the state that are aimed at connecting youth to their food and environment and encouraging innovative approaches to current issues. These include school gardens, recycling programs, school forests, greenhouses, and maintaining the landscape shrubs, bushes, and trees on school grounds.
Ag Literacy Programs
Many local programs are involved in conducting agriculture literacy programs to elementary and/or middle school audiences. These present multiple learning opportunities for all involved. The younger students learn important information about food and the environment that will help them make healthy consumer choices. They also see positive role models in the older students. Older students are engaged in a project that challenges them to research information and present it to an audience. They also take pride and responsibility in helping the youth of their school.
Agricultural Education enhances traditional school environments by its spirit and culture of collaboration, unity and student achievement. Many student programs and projects directly
impact the well-being of the greater school district.
There are many ways that Agricultural Education impacts local communities:
- Assisting the local food pantries
- Community supported agriculture (CSAs) facilitated by Agricultural Education programs
- Agriculture literacy programs
- Community beautification projects
- Highway clean-up projects
- Returning home-grown knowledge and talent to build the local community and economy through their professions and community leadership positions
- Students receiving state and national honors and awards build community pride and unity
The agriculture industry is a rewarding field of work and continues to demand more talented
people to fill positions at all parts of the broad spectrum of careers.
USDA estimates a growth of 5 percent of jobs in agriculture, food and natural resources from
2010 to 2015. Although employers strongly prefer graduates from colleges of agriculture and
natural resources, there will only be enough graduates in these areas to fill 53 percent of the
positions. About 44 percent will be filled with graduates from related disciplines including
biological sciences, engineering, health sciences, business, and communication. There will still
be a gap of 1.7 percent or 900 positions without qualified graduates.
Shortfalls are predicted of qualified graduates to work as plant geneticists and plant breeders,
climate change analysts, and food safety and security specialists.