What is Agricultural Education?
Agricultural education is a program of instruction available to students desiring to learn about the science, business, technology of plant and animal production and/or about the environmental and natural resources systems. Agricultural education first became a part of the public education system in 1917 when the U.S. Congress passed the Smith-Hughes Act. Today, over 800,000 students participate in formal agricultural education instructional programs offered throughout the 50 states and three U.S. territories.
Agricultural education provides students with opportunities for leadership development, personal growth, and career success. Agricultural education instruction is delivered through three major components:
- classroom/laboratory instruction (contextual learning)
- supervised agricultural experience programs (work-based learning)
- student leadership organizations (National FFA Organization, National Young Farmer Educational Association, and National Postsecondary Agricultural Student Organization)