Agriculture Education Makes Sense For Everyone, Not just Farm Kids

Agriculture Education Makes Sense For Everyone, Not just Farm Kids

Thank you for bringing the importance of AG ed to light Buzzfeed.
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Not too long ago Buzzfeed released a video that I, being someone who grew up surrounded by agriculture, of course had to watch: "City Folk Work On A Farm For A Day."

Del Monte Foods invited four Buzzfeed members to visit one of their farms where they took part in collecting crop samples for maturity testing and allowed them to drive equipment during harvesting. These Buzzfeeders had no idea what they were doing or what they were getting themselves into, that much was obvious by their reactions and commentary.

Watching it, I didn't know if I should laugh or cringe. They thought green beans grew on TREES for cryin' out loud! Really?

But, these Buzzfeeders aren't alone in their disconnect from agriculture. In fact, it seems like most people really do have no clue where their food comes from. There are lots of agricultural products many consumers have no idea where they actually come from, and it's not as if the producers are trying to keep it a secret.

I've met people who genuinely believed wool was a plant, that there was no difference in dairy and beef cattle, that roosters were the ones that laid eggs and so much more off the wall concepts. Unless you are within one to two generations of a family farm, it's sad to say that most Americans know next to nothing about the agricultural industry.

This is where agriculture education comes into play. It's important and it's helpful to know where your food comes from, the growing and the sciences behind it.

Starting with food production as your base opens you up to learn about crops, plants, land management and all forms of animal sciences. More than just your food, it's helpful to know about basic environmental sciences such as soil or water conservation and renewable energy.

Everyone can benefit from understanding the basics of business, public speaking, and professionalism. With all of these possible topics and more covered in agriculture education, why wouldn't you want it to be apart of your curriculum?

AG-ed is already taught in rural schools all over the country, but not in many urban school settings.

These schools don't feel a need to "teach students how to be a farmer" as I've heard from various urban school educators, such as my own high school. (Thankfully AG-ed had been offered at our school for decades so the program was going nowhere.) But that's not what most high school or in some places middle school AG educators aim to teach their students. And even kids who don't want to grow up to be farmers should still know about basic agriculture.

The AG industry plays a part in every single person's everyday life.

From the clothes, you wear to the food you eat, to the lumber that built your house and from your constant use of agricultural byproducts, this industry plays a massive role in your life. There will always be a need for AG and there will always be a need for workers in the AG industry, and I mean way more than just farmers. With this industry being so vital to not only us but the whole world, it just makes sense to teach our students about it, urban or rural backgrounds aside.

Between knowing about your environment and your food supply to general knowledge on a field that will always be necessary, what possible argument could you have for not wanting schools to teach agricultural education?

Go on, think of something, while you do that I'll continue to dispell the crazy misconceptions the general public has about my industry. Wake up world, Ag ed makes sense.

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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Coping With The Loss Of A Passion

It's hard to get it back once you lose it.

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In college, time to focus on passions seems limited. The homework, essays, group projects, and exams are never-ending.

In high school, I took my free time for granted. I was dancing four hours four nights a week, but I wasn't constantly stressed. I had time to focus on my passion, which is dance.

In college, I am a part of an amazing dance club. But I don't get to compete, take technique classes, or be with the team I was with since I was 8 years old. Now, I receive videos of my team from home's amazing performances, and it aches a bit. I am so proud and happy for their growth but jealous that they have more years than I do. It is nearly impossible to find technique classes at college to take with no car, little free time, and barely any money. I miss my team, I miss my dance teachers and choreographers, and I miss competitions, but most of all, I miss the person I was when I had the opportunity to pursue my passion several hours a week.

My passion will always be there, and I do get to pursue dance on a smaller scale with some amazing dancers in college, but I am coping with the fact that I will never do another competition with my team again, I will never be able to dance with them again, and I will never be able to learn from my dance teachers again. It's a hard loss, one that I think about every day.

To anyone who still has the opportunities to pursue their passions to the fullest extent, you are lucky. Not everyone gets the chance to keep up with their sport, passion, or activity that they dedicated all of their time to in high school. Don't take a single second of it for granted, and remember why you are doing what you are doing. Take time to reflect on why you love it so much, how it makes you feel, and how you can express yourself during it. Whatever this passion or activity is, make every second count.

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