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Idaho Will Consider Ag Education Requirement for High School Students

Idaho Will Consider Ag Education Requirement for High School Students

12/7/2017 4:19:00 AM/Categories: General News, Today's Top 5, Livestock, Grains

Anna Peterson, an FFA member from Nampa, Idaho, proposes mandating that high school students to complete at least two agriculture education classes as a requirement to graduate.

One of the wedges that serves to create the rural-urban divide is the general lack of knowledge about agriculture common in the city.

Even in rural areas, most Americans are two or more generations removed from the farm. Our collective memory on the subject is both woefully outdated and uninformed.

Ag interest groups have been asking for years how they can bridge that information gap. It’s a conundrum.

Not to Anna Peterson, 17, an FFA member at Skyview High School in Nampa, Idaho. If it’s a question of education, she reasons, why not teach it in school?

Peterson will propose a bill during the 2018 Idaho legislative session that would mandate high school students to complete at least two agriculture education classes as a requirement to graduate. As part of her effort she’s already emailed every member of the Idaho Legislature to brief them on the plan.

Now, the naysayers will quickly point out all the predictable obstacles for such a plan ever being instituted, even in a state where so many legislators are farmers or ranchers. It would be expensive and school budgets are already stretched thin. The school day is too short to cover all the material already required.

Who would set the curriculum? That could mean the difference between education and indoctrination.

But just because it wouldn’t be easy doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. It’s a great idea.

And whether or not Peterson’s proposal ever gets a hearing she still deserves a huge tip of the hat.

As we said, farm groups across the country have been asking how to bridge the rural-urban divide for years. Peterson considered the question, proposed an answer and has taken it upon herself to petition the Idaho Legislature to make that proposal a reality.

We could all use that kind of passion.

Source: Capital Press

 

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1 comments on article "Idaho Will Consider Ag Education Requirement for High School Students"

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john spizziri

12/7/2017 8:10 AM

This is good news on the surface- however, one must take into consideration the state of Ag-ed in the US today. Most of the up and coming AG teachers are young people with very limited AG experience and skill sets for passing on to their students. There is a lot of ( too much) topical, virtual reality teaching going on; power point displays, with teachers who know very little about what they are talking about droning on, reading off the display, caring more about winning plaques for their classroom than delivering the real skinny on what agriculture truly entails and what it in fact is all about.

Most newbies pride themselves on the fact that AG-ED is "not just about plow, cows and sows anymore" which is code for we are not going to do much at all with the production side of AG- but concentrate too much on the periphery of Ag and not the core concepts and principles.

The current "Chickification" of Ag education ( Oh I cant wait to hear the hate mail about THAT!) bodes ill for the future of those who think they are delivering a quality product vis-a-vis Ag education-- and very ill for those who think they are getting a good Ag Education.

Just a certain view from the trenches from an old man who is probably better off being replaced.

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