Should Agriculture Education Courses Be Required For All Students?
Agriculture education classes for many rural kids are a standard part of your high school curriculum. These are always elective courses that are not required to be taken for anyone to graduate. Most FFA and 4H kids take an ag class every semester of their high school careers in a wide variety of topics, from horticulture, ag mechanics, business and even animal diseases.
Have you ever thought about how cool it would be for everyone to take ag classes? Allowing everyone to experience the wonderful world that many of us get to live our life in daily. A current FFA member is acting on that very idea. Capital Press recently published an article about a high school senior in Idaho who is helping put forth legislation requiring all students to take ag classes. The article states that each student would be required to take two semesters of agriculture courses before they graduate high school.
Agriculture Science courses can be a gateway to endless opportunities. Classes in leadership, business and basic agriculture science offer knowledge that span across all groups of people. Students can also learn skills and trades. Ag mechanic classes open individuals to areas such as wood working, welding, design and construction. These classes and more allow for a better start to be an adult and experiencing the real world.
Schools already require multiple semesters of other programs such as a foreign language, math, science and even English courses. This legislation would put the importance of agriculture back into the forefront of education. 100 years ago, children were still allowed out of class either early help with harvests and tend to chores at home on the farm. Over time that image has faded in the minds of people, especially students.
With agriculture being a requirement for education, it allows everyone to get a better impression of what agriculture really involves. When I was in high school many moons ago, in a very rural area of Texas, there were a great number of students that did not understand agriculture and only saw kids getting out to spend a week at a livestock show. With a requirement of agriculture in the schools, it brings back some fundamental knowledge that everyone should have in life. People should understand where their food comes from and what steps it takes to feed a world.
Now there is a valid question as to how much is too much for our children and kids to take on in school courses. These are very hectic and fast-moving times for everyone, especially students. Many kids are wonderful performers, artists and even musicians. There are athletes that can perform outstanding tasks on the courts and fields. These talents have roots and foundations in agriculture that everyone should have an experience to learn and understand. Broadening our students’ minds should be one of the main goals in our education system.
Agriculture touches many lives in many ways. A requirement of agriculture courses would expand the knowledge base while being exponentially beneficial to the children taking the courses and the agriculture industry itself. The article states that this young lady has written all state legislatures with what is being proposed. Hopefully this will end up being a positive piece of legislation that is embraced by not only the state of Idaho. This is piece of that many believe should be put into curriculums across the United States and I encourage others to reach out on this pro-agriculture piece of legislation.
Cover photo courtesy of National FFA Organization