Agriculture education grants fund learning opportunities for students in K-12 as well as college and university students. According to the National Association of Agricultural Educators, school-based agricultural education will typically draw on three interconnected components for curriculum: classroom instruction; experiential learning; and leadership education. Agriculture education grants play a central role in helping schools, government agencies, and non-profit organizations provide these components6.
Classroom and laboratory instruction for young learners will typically include units on food production, nutrition, environmental preservation, and food safety. Curriculum will often be interdisciplinary in nature, incorporating traditional educational elements such as math, science, and social studies into lessons on the agribusiness, plant sciences, and land use policy. Youth agriculture education can be leveraged to enhance core content knowledge, may be compatible with STEM models of education, and can help students achieve college and career readiness.
At the college level, agriculture education grants can fund an extremely wide array of educational models and agricultural sub-disciplines including animal biology, environmental sciences, food sciences, and more. Curriculum may take place in an instructional or laboratory setting, and may include a research component.
To learn about the Northeast Agriculture Education Association’s university grant recipients at Cornell University, Pennsylvania State University, and more, take a look at the Northeast Agriculture Education Foundation’s Past Grantees.
Experiential learning is an essential component of the agricultural education (Link to Sub-Page 1: What is Agricultural Education?) curriculum. This dimension can take place in a variety of settings, from seminars and instructional workshops to field travel and hands-on training. Agriculture education grants fund opportunities for students, farmers, and their families to receive expert guidance from agribusiness leaders, visit food production facilities, train in real-world farm settings, learn critical farm safety.
Learn how Northeast Agriculture Education Association grant recipient LEAD NY leverages funding to create experiential learning opportunities.
Agricultural education prioritizes the development of leadership skills, both in agriculture professionals and in the next generation of farm industry leaders. Youth leadership development programming is typically provided through student organizations such as the Future Farmers of American (FFA), the National Young Farmer Education Association, and others. Leadership development curriculum is intended to enhance classroom education by providing industry-relevant enrichment through service activities, public speaking engagements, agriculture sales projects, and more.
For agriculture industry professionals and students in higher education programs, leadership development curriculum will focus on the development of critical leadership skills such as organizational management, communication, and project coordination.
To build your own agriculture education curriculum, find out how you can apply for an agriculture education grant.
6. NAAE. (2020). What is Agricultural Education? The National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE). https://www.naae.org/whatisaged/