By Kent Schescke, FFA Foundation
While farming is possibly the oldest and most well-known agricultural career, more than 300 career opportunities exist in today’s agriculture, food and natural resources sector. Those jobs can be organized in the following categories:
Food Products and Processing Systems
Natural Resource Systems
Environmental Service Systems
More than 7,400 middle and high school agricultural education programs and FFA chapters exist in schools and communities across the United States to help young people explore, discover and prepare for agricultural career opportunities. What follows are some fast facts about agricultural education today:
Education of students in urban, suburban and rural areas
34% from urban and suburban areas
39% from rural, non-farm areas
27% from rural farm areas
16 of 20 largest U.S. cities have FFA chapters
Changing demographics of membership
39% female (hold 50% state leadership positions)
85% Caucasian, 11% Latino, 4% African-American
The agricultural education community is focused on growth and quality as the future of agricultural education. In fact, our goal is to accelerate GROWTH in education by providing greater access to Ag Ed and FFA by exponentially growing the number of programs in communities not yet served by Ag Ed and FFA, thus assisting students to prepare for opportunities in agriculture, food and natural resources industries.
By strengthening the QUALITY of personal, academic and career education programs in agriculture, we will raise the bar on student achievement in existing Ag Ed and FFA programs.
Accomplishing these goals will require lots of motivated new agricultural education instructors and teachers. Do you have a knack for working with young people? If so, we encourage you to consider Agricultural Education as a major and work toward a career an agricultural education instructor.