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Why Agricultural Education?

  • Agricultural Education is a key component of the Wisconsin education system and enhances the social, economic and environmental well-being of the state.
  • Agricultural Education utilizes three program components that work in harmony to attain whole-student development of 21st century skills and achieve college and career readiness.
  • A healthy balance of all three pieces of this program is necessary to foster well-rounded students who possess valuable 21st century skills.
  • While the emphasis of Agricultural Education is the agriculture industry and its very broad spectrum of careers, we know that many of our graduates are successful in careers beyond the agriculture industry and would attribute their accomplishments back to Agriculture Education.

Student Success

Today's students – regardless of previous achievement level, personal backgrounds or learning styles – thrive in the environment and culture that Agricultural Education creates.

Academic Success
The relevance of agricultural content to students' everyday surroundings creates an opportunity to teach and reinforce the 3 R's at rigorous levels that is difficult to match by standard instruction.

Life and Career Skills
Workshops, competitive events and learn-by-doing experiences within the FFA and SAE components promote mastery of many life and career skills.

Innovative Instructional Delivery
Agriculture teachers employ a variety of standard, project-based and inquiry-based instructional methods that offer differentiated models of learning to appeal to individual student needs.

Real-World Experience and Application
Students interact with real businesses and agencies to reach higher levels of understanding and influence real topics and issues in agriculture.

Learning Beyond the School Building
The three integral components of Agricultural Education encourage students to learn from their surroundings and apply the class lessons learned to their everyday life, effectively becoming lifelong learners.

Career Path
Students discover personal talents and interests, identify a corresponding career path, individualize their Agricultural Education participation and work toward one of many successful careers in the agriculture industry.

Student-to-Student Mentors
The competitive and collaborative spirit of the program encourages upperclassmen to guide and mentor underclassmen to set personal goals and participate in various activities.

Student-Adult Mentorship
The environment and culture of Agricultural Education lends itself to strong bonds of trust, respect and mentorship between students and agriculture teachers as well as with other community volunteers.

Collaborative Support Structure
Each Agricultural Education student is supported by a team of agriculture teachers, business members, community supporters, administrators, donors, higher education representatives and governmental leaders at the local state and national levels who unite to better their student experience.

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
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.

Stronger Communities

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

Agricultural Sustainability

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 61 percent of the positions. Employers will need to look to other areas such as biology, business administration, engineering, education, communication, and consumer sciences to fill the remaining 39 percent of openings.

Shortfalls are predicted of qualified graduates to work as plant geneticists and plant breeders, climate change analysts, and food safety and security specialists.

Employment Opportunities for College Graduates & Other Resources

Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

Employment Opportunities 2015-2020