Semester of Graduation
Agricultural Education and Studies
First Major Professor
Dr. Scott Smalley
Master of Science (MS)
Agricultural literacy continues to be a hot-button issue in the agricultural industry. As we see consumers spending more time learning about their products and how they are produced, we tend to also see a gap in the understanding of those practices. Part of this literacy gap could be closed with the introduction to agriculture lessons at a younger age. Many agricultural education students, parents, agriculture teachers, and industry leaders believe that agricultural education provides a context-rich environment that facilitates this venue (Bellah and Dyer, 2009). While some organizations, like Farm Bureau, have incorporated lessons into the elementary classrooms, the gap continues. Agriculturally literate adolescents are able to “a) engage in social conversation, b) evaluate the validity of media, c) identify local, national, and international issues, and d) pose and evaluate arguments based on scientific evidence” as it relates to “agriculture, food, fiber, and natural resource systems” (Graves, Hughes, & Balgopal, 2016). How can we get consumers to learn about their products in an educational way? Will starting these lessons at a younger age improve their understanding and knowledge?
Bonzer, Kaitlyn, "Cultivating leaders: A school garden curriculum for elementary and high school partnerships" (2019). Creative Components. 142.