According to a recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics, students who completed three or more Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses during their high school career had a much lower rate of unemployment than students with fewer CTE courses. Additionally, Michigan has experienced an increased interest in CTE courses: the number of students completing CTE programs has increased by more than 75 percent in the past four years.
But who will teach these valuable courses and foster these meaningful programs?
Schools are having difficulty finding CTE teachers, including ag teachers. Our population is growing and with an estimated 9 billion people to feed in 2050, the food and agriculture sector needs gifted and hardworking youth to be committed to agriculture career paths. Many of these individuals will have their first opportunity to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of agriculture in school – but only if we can find talented and dedicated ag teachers to teach them.
Existing Michigan Farm Bureau policy supports emergency certification programs and hiring retired ag teachers to fill these vacant positions. It also supports consideration of a student loan payoff or scholarship program to help promote ag teaching programs through private and public partnerships.
Contact: Rebecca Park | 517-679-5346
What other local, regional or statewide initiatives could be developed to attract or encourage people to enter the agriculture education profession?
Are county Farm Bureaus participating in existing ag programs by serving as advisors and providing feedback on the skills needed for our young people?
Farming is changing rapidly, is there a way to incentivize internships on a farm or a similar way to provide hands-on experience?
MFB Policy #38 Agriscience, Food and Natural Resources Education and the FFA Organization