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Here’s How Innovative Schools Are Keeping Agricultural Education Alive

teacher helping student garden

Agricultural-Rich Counties Encourage Future Farmers

Schools across the country partake in National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Week.

In Rockingham County, Virginia, for example, supporting the education of future leaders in agriculture is particularly important; the area is home to over 4,000 farms.

Students used the week to focus "on sharing the importance of our farmers with classmates and the community” and how the community "can help team up with Shenandoah Valley farmers to make sure local goods stay local,” said 

Legislation Seeks to Create Agriculture Science Program

House Bill 1297 was introduced to Somerset County, Maryland in order to create an agriculture science program in its public school curriculum.

"House Bill 1297, an agriculture education bill, aims to bring an agriculture science program to Somerset County. If passed, the bill would require each county board of education, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, to implement an agriculture science curriculum in at least one public high school or at least one career center in each county,” said

Many in the community hope to see the legislation pass because agriculture is a huge industry in Maryland and "t's important that we keep the future generations going and learning about it as much as they can,” said Shane King, who is president of the Somerset County Young Farmers, to WBOC. 

Statewide Competition Has Students Compete in Agriculture Mechanics Contest

A statewide competition involved 3,000 Future Farmers of America members and 163 schools in California to test students on their agricultural skills.

Students "competed in sections on agriculture mechanics, parliamentary procedure, forestry, job interview, livestock judging, creed, vet science and the agriculture sales competition,” said 

State Continues Annual Agricultural Literacy Project

Oregon is celebrating agriculture through he annual Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) Literacy Project 2016.

“Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom has been working for decades to excite young students about agriculture. The AITC's annual Literacy Project is in its 9th year,” said the 

"Across Oregon, the project has eager volunteers bringing each Literacy Project book into the classroom: over 725 volunteers read to 20,077 students in 889 classes statewide in 2015 alone,.”

Preschool Students Receive Grant for Garden

Preschool students in Trigg County Public Schools in Kentucky have received $2,500 in funding from America’s Farmers Grow Communities to install a raised-bed garden that will allow the young students to have their first experience with agriculture.

"The first year the students will plant and tend a “pizza garden.” In it will be bell peppers, oregano, basil, and cherry tomatoes to help the children understand where the ingredients come from that make a pizza,” said Trigg County Public Schools in a statement. 

Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


Related story: School Gardens for Beginners:  Advice from Common Ground’s Jill Keating Herbst