National Teach Ag Day

Event focuses attention on the need for agricultural educators in the United States.

| February 18, 2011

On March 24, National Teach Ag Day, agriculture teachers all over the United States will be introducing students to an exciting and demanding career – their own.

Currently, agricultural educators are in short supply all over the United States, with an inadequate number of agricultural education graduates being produced each year to fill job openings. Agricultural educators prepare students to fill jobs in one of the only major sectors of the U.S. economy that grew in 2010. Last year, agriculture exports increased by 11.9 percent to $107.5 billion dollars. USDA studies show that every billion dollars in agricultural exports supports more than 8,000 jobs. (1)

National Teach Ag Day is a day to celebrate the contributions agricultural educators make in their communities and in the lives of their students, and is also a way to encourage young people to consider a career in agricultural education.

“School-based agriculture programs are too important to lose, especially in the current economic climate,” says Jay Jackman, executive director of the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), the organization that facilitates National Teach Ag Day.

“A lack of agricultural educators means we’re cutting off the supply of employees to the agriculture industry at the wellhead,” Jackman says. “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.”

Agriculture programs teach the science and production of food, feed, and fiber, as well as subjects like natural resources and veterinary science. Students in agriculture programs learn a wide variety of skills and concepts through these subjects, including science, math, communications, leadership, management and technology.

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