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Agriculture - It's More Than Farming

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Agriculture—It's More Than Farming

I am thoroughly excited that our high school agricultural program made the news with the article "Northern Burlington High School agriscience program turns students into farmers" yet I cringe at the title.  I believe in production agriculture as it is the foundation of all of our food and fiber needs.  I know the vital importance of the farmer in the agriculture industry.  I am concerned that in the United States we have an ever aging population of farmers.  However, our program does so much more than "turn students into farmers" and the article even addressed that.

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The fact that agriculture equals just farming and agricultural education prepares students to be farmers is a stereotype I strive to overcome from the moment 7th graders enter my classroom.  There are over 23 million jobs in the agricultural industry from agronomists to zoologists and nearly everything in between.  The article mentioned our use of the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education. It discussed workforce readiness, aquaculture, genetics, mechanics, and more. Why did it have to go with the stereotype in its title?

Could I sit silently and celebrate the fact we made the news? Yes! However, the high school vice president expressed that involvement in FFA helps you "think outside of the box."  I have a responsibility to open the box and open minds!

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