Byron's Babbles

Agriculture – Our Next Moon Shot

Posted in Education, Education Reform by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on March 4, 2012

A few weeks ago there was an article that discussed the agriculture industry as not being a viable career choice for students. It seems to me that agriculture continues to be one of the least understood industries, with some of the most tremendous opportunities for our students. When starting the Agriculture Science program at Lebanon Community School Corporation eight years ago, I spoke of the fact that agriculture is more than Cows, Plows, and Sows. I now use the phrase that agriculture is our next “man on the moon” that Kennedy had. Think about it; as our population increases we will need food, clothing, shelter, sustainable fuel sources, cures for diseases, and the list goes on and on. Where will these come from? AGRICULTURE SCIENCE!

When people begin discussing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education and careers, I like to remind them that it really should be STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, AGRICULTURE, and Math. But don’t take my word for it, click here to take a look at the results of the 2011 Employment Summary Food, Agriculture, Life, and Natural Resources May Graduates – College of Agriculture, Purdue University.

As our next “moon shot” it is critical that we continue to support agriculture science as an important Career and Technical Education (CTE) component in our secondary schools. It is also critical that teachers, such as myself, take the integration of science very seriously into our curriculum. It is also critical that we continue to recruit the best students into agriculture to be the Neil Armstrong’s of the agricultural industry and take the giant leaps of solving world hunger, disease, fuel needs, and all other areas related to food, life, and natural resources.

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