Agricultural educators prepare students to fill jobs in one of the only major sectors of the U.S. economy that grew in 2010. Currently, agricultural educators are in short supply all over the United States, with not enough agricultural education graduates being produced each year to fill job openings. To help close that gap, agriculture teachers across the nation will be telling their own stories to their students on Thursday, Feb. 24 in observance of National Teach Ag Day.
Agriculture programs teach the science and production of food, feed, and fiber, as well as subjects like natural resources and veterinary science. Lessons are delivered in a hands-on way that helps students more fully understand concepts, retain learned information, and apply material to real world situations. Agricultural education also includes a strong leadership component that helps develop students' sense of responsibility and civic service.
Jay Jackman, Executive Director of the National Association of Agricultural Educators, points out that a lack of agricultural educators means we're cutting off the supply of employees to the agriculture industry at the wellhead. Agricultural education is one of the best-kept secrets in education right now. If there's no one there to prepare students for these careers, then one of the industries that has been a corner post of American success will begin to weaken.