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U~rs~r~irlg `'gricaltare - l Ve~ Directio~s for Ed~catio~ Committee on Agricultural Education in Secondary Schools Board on Agriculture National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1988

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National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, NV1 Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Re- search Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineer- ing, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars en- gaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accor- dance with the general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This project was supported under grant No. 59-32U4-5-11 from the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and grant No. G008520005 from the Department of Education. It has received funding from the National Research Council Fund, a pool of private, discretionary, nonfederal funds consisting of contribu- tions from a consortium of private foundations including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foun- dation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Support was also received from the Merck Company Foundation and the Idaho Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association. Preparation of this report was partially supported by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Understanding agriculture: new directions for education/Committee on Agricultural Education in Secondary Schools, Board on Agriculture, National Research Council, p. cm. Bibliography: p. Includes index. ISBN 0-309-03936-3 1. Agricultural education-United States. 2. Vocational education-United States. 3. Education and state-United States. 4. Curriculm planning-United States. I. National Research Council (U.S). Board on Agriculture. Committee on Agricultural Education in Secondary Schools. S533.U47 1988 630'.7'1273-dc19 Copyrights 1988 by the National Academy of Sciences 88-13126 CIP No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise copied for public or private use without written permission from the publisher, except for the purposes of official use by the U.S. government. Printed in the United States of America First Printing, September 1988 Second Printing, April 1989 Ibird Printing, March 1996

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Committee on Agricultural Education in Secondary Schools DANIEL G. ALDRICH, Chairman, University of California, Irvine GRAHAM BOYD, North Carolina State University DALE BUTCHER, Benton Central High School, Oxford, Indiana ANNE CAMPBELL, Former Commissioner of Education, Nebraska J. BURTON ELLER, National Cattlemen's Association DONALD E. EVANS, Pennsylvania State University WILLIAM P. FLATT, University of Georgia DON LOESLIE, Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers RUSSELL G. MAWBY, W. K. Kellogg Foundation JOHN MOORE, University of California, Riverside MONTY MULTANEN, State Department of Education, Oregon JAMES V. RISSER, Stanford University STUART A. ROSENFELD, Southern Growth Policies Board ELLEN S. RUSSELL, University of Illinois J. ROBERT WARMBROD, Ohio State University RON WILSON, Farm Credit Services DALE WOLF, Delaware Development Office Staff CHARLES M. BENBROOK, Project Officer ~. 111

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Board on Agricullure *WILLIAM L. BROWN, Chairman, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. JOHN A. PING, Vic~Chairman, National Research Council SPERRY L. ADKISSON, Texas A&M University C. EUGENE ALLEN, University of Minnesota EDWIN H. CLARK II, The Conservation Foundation ELLIS B. COWLING, North Carolina State University JOSEPH P. FONTENOT, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University ROBERT M. GOODMAN, Calgene, Inc. TIMOTHY M. HAMMONDS, Food Marketing Institute RALPH W. F. HARDY, Boyce Thompson Institute and BioTechnica International, Inc. THEODORE L. HULLAR, University of California, Davis PAUL W. JOHNSON, Iowa House of Representatives CHARLES C. MUSCOPLAT, Molecular Genetics, Inc. KARL H. NORRIS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville Maryland VERNON W. RUTTAN, University of Minnesota CHAMP B. TANNER, University of Wisconsin ROBERT L. THOMPSON, Purdue University THOMAS D. TRAUTMAN, General Mills, Inc. JAN VAN SCHILFGAARDE, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fort Collins, Colorado VIRGINIA WALBOT, Stanford University CONRAD J. WEISER, Oregon State University CHARLES M. BENBROOK, Executive Director JAMES E. TAVARES, Associate Executive Director CARLA CARLSON, Reports Officer and Senior Ed itor GRACE JONES ROBBINS, Assistant Editor *Through June 30, 1988. "Through December 31, 1987. "Chairman as of July 1, 1988. lV

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Preface In the 1980s, many forces have challenged American agriculture and education. These forces include demographics; urbanization; rapid gains in worldwide agricultural production capacity; domestic farm and trade policies; lifestyle changes; global competition in basic and high-technology industries; the explo- sion in knowledge caused by increasingly sophisticated computers, dig- ital equipment, and biotechnological techniques; specialization within the professions; and public expectations about the role of schools, the food supply, and public institutions. A growing number of educators, farmers, and those in agribusinesses and public institutions recognize the need to adjust policies. Our educational system must meet these challenges. This study on agricultural education in the secondary schools was initiated in 1985 because of concerns about the declining profitability and international competitiveness of American agriculture, as well as concerns about declining enrollments, instructional content, and qual- ity in agricultural education programs. The National Research Council established the Committee on Agri- cultural Education in Secondary Schools at the request of the U.S. Sec- retaries of Agriculture and Education to assess the contributions of instruction in agriculture to the maintenance and improvement of U.S. agricultural productivity and economic competitiveness here and abroad. The committee was asked to offer recommendations regarding: goals for instruction in agriculture; the subject matter and skills that should be stressed in cur- ricula for different groups of students; and v

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V1 PREFACE policy changes needed at the local, state, and national levels to facilitate the new and revised agricultural education pro- grams in secondary schools Shortly after the committee began its work, the Congress expanded the scope of this study to include an assessment of the potential use of modern communications and computer-based technology in teaching agriculture programs at the secondary school level. Throughout the study, the committee met seven times. Members of the committee held five hearings in various regions of the country, organized two conferences, attended a national Future Farmers of America (FFA) convention, and visited nine schools. The committee contacted numerous individuals and organizations to collect informa- tion and insights about agricultural education. Many officials and ex- perts in the U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture provided valuable data and insights. Although the committee focused primarily on activities at the secondary school level, it also gathered and as- sessed information on agricultural educational efforts at the elemen- tary school level and in teacher education programs at the college level. The committee received statements and materials from more than 300 representatives from agribusinesses, farm organizations, agricul- tural education groups, and parent and youth organizations; elemen- tary, secondary and postsecondary educators and administrators; fu- turists; and state and national policy leaders. The committee gratefully acknowledges the contributions of these individuals and organizations. The committee uses the terms "agriculture" and "agricultural sys- tem" interchangeably throughout the report. These terms are used broadly and encompass the production of agricultural commodities, in- cluding food, fiber, wood products, horticultural crops, and other plant and animal products. The terms also include the financing, processing, marketing, and distribution of agricultural products; farm production supply and service industries; health, nutrition, and food consumption; the use and conservation of land and water resources; development and maintenance of recreational resources; and related economic, sociolog- ical, political, environmental, and cultural characteristics of the food and fiber system. An understanding of basic concepts and knowledge spanning and uniting all of these subjects define the term "agricul- tural literacy" found in this report. The report that follows focuses on the two major elements of agricul- tural education- agricultural literacy (education about agriculture) and vocational agriculture (education in agriculture). It consists of an ex- ecutive summary, two additional chapters, and three appendixes. The executive summary sets forth the committee's principal findings, con

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PREFACE `iii elusions, and recommendations. Chapter 2 discusses educational pro- grams about agriculture for all students at the secondary school level with the goal of producing agriculturally literate citizens. Chapter 3 examines vocational agriculture education programs and explores re- commendations for change. The appendixes review the evolution of ag- ricultural education. Like agriculture itself, agricultural education is at a crossroads. The committee believes that a renewed commitment to and broadening of agricultural education will ensure the skills and knowledge essential to the future vitality of American agriculture. DANIEL G. ALDRICH Chairman

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Contents 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS 2. AGRICULTURAL LITERACY . . 3. VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE EDUCATION TEXT REFERENCES . . . APPENDIXES The Changing Face of American Agriculture A ~;~.~li..-al li'.~lilratinn in America .......... A. B. ^~-l~;ul~l.l~l 1J~l~ll ~ C. . . The Education Reform Movement of the 1980s . . . APPENDIX REFERENCES INDEX . ix . ~ . 8 ....... 26 . 48 ...... 51 54 60 63 65