Agriculture in the Classroom is a grassroots program coordinated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Its goal is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society. The program is carried out in each state according to state needs and interests.
Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom is a program of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation whose mission is to engage youth, educators, and the general public to promote an understanding of the vital importance of agriculture in the lives of all Nebraskans.
In Nebraska, the Agriculture in the Classroom program has a long history of creating resources and curriculum tied to state education standards to assist teachers in connecting their students to their source of food, fiber, and fuel – agriculture! The Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom program:
- Creates agricultural awareness.
- Encourages effective teaching about modern agriculture.
- Leads development of instructional materials.
- Provides leadership training for teachers and agriculture promotion advocates.
What is agricultural literacy?
Agricultural Literacy Programs promote an understanding of the connection and value of agriculture in the lives of all people.
An agriculturally literate person understands the relationship between agriculture and the environment, food, fiber and energy, animals, lifestyle, the economy and technology. (Source: American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture.
The Importance of Agricultural Literacy
An increased knowledge of agriculture allows individuals to:
- Make informed personal choices about diet and health.
- Participate in establishing the policies that support a competitive agricultural industry.
- Gain an understanding of historical and current economic, social, and environmental issues that affect all Americans.
- Explore employment opportunities in agriculture.
Pillars of Agricultural Literacy
American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s Pillars of Agricultural Literacy group our agricultural literacy efforts into categories of information. Learning objectives associated with each pillar can be found at www.agfoundation.org/resources/ag-pillars. These learning objectives provide a starting point for planning appropriate activities for each age group, child through adult. Whether it is in the classroom, at a county fair, local festival or on-farm event, consider focusing on just a few objectives.
National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes
To help agriculture be understood by all, the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITC) and the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA- NIFA) created benchmarks related to agricultural literacy and academic achievement. The following National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes (NALO’s) are the themes that contextualize agricultural concepts.