When a student hears the words “agriculture,” “farming,” or something similar, most immediately have a stereotype in their mind. My job as an agriscience teacher is the break that stereotype. You see, agriculture is so much more than “cows, plows and sows.”
The agriculture pathway’s full name is actually “agriculture, food and natural resources.” Agriculture is anything that deals with growing, preparing, or selling food, fiber or other agricultural products. It also involves the preservation of our environment.
Agriculture includes farming. But agriculture is marketing, engineering, floral design, sustainability, and food science. It’s time to lose the stereotype that it is only cows, plows and sows.
Our students are exposed to all different pathways within agriculture. We have students who will actively farm but we also have students who will enter the field of agriculture with other career goals in mind. Some of our students might be agricultural lenders. Some of our students might be social media managers for agricultural companies or some might develop the next vaccine to protect animals and humans.
The future of producing food for the world is changing and it will take even more high-paying, high-tech jobs to make sure that our population is safely fed. The challenge of producing food sustainably while protecting the environment is one of the major concerns.
Millennials like a challenge. The challenge is there. Feed the world while doing so sustainably. The careers needed to do this are in need of talented people. Will you accept the challenge?
Joe Ankley is the agriscience educator and FFA advisor at North Huron Schools in Huron County. He teaches introduction to agriscience, biology and agriscience, zoology and the environment and advanced agriscience classes to more than 150 students in grades 6-12. He also manages the school’s experiential learning spaces including a greenhouse, livestock facility, floral shop, community produce garden and a small land lab raising potatoes.