Should Agriculture Education be a Mandatory Class?

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Lately there has been some debating going on about whether or not an agriculture class should be a mandatory class. In my old high school it was mandatory to take a foreign language, a couple of semesters of art, and of course math, reading, history, and science. So where does agriculture education fit in? Well for my high school it was an offered elective. Mostly the kids involved were kids that were already semi knowledgeable about agriculture. Some are now arguing that every high school student should take at least one semester of agriculture.

There are many misleading issues that have caused a negative impact on the agriculture industry. An impact that is so negative, people who are feeding the world are getting called horrible names. All because there is some agriculturally lacking people who have started to believe everything that they read online. If agriculture was a mandatory class this could ultimately solve this problem, but it could also make the agriculture educator’s job a little more difficult.

If students are forced to take a class they don’t like or want, they usually try to make that teachers life miserable. I know that in high school I didn’t want to take Spanish, but I had to. In the long run I don’t use Spanish, but I do use a lot of the things I learned in my agriculture class. This is probably because I’m an agriculture major. After taking the Spanish course I had a new appreciation for the Spanish speakers in my school that had to learn English. Learning a new language isn’t easy and although I don’t use it anymore, I still think it’s important for kids to be as well-rounded in all aspects of life. I’m not an artist, I can’t draw a simple tree to save my life. I remember my art teacher use to have to help me draw everything, and I found a greater respect for the artist’s in the world. If it came down to me drawing the Mona Lisa to save my life, well I would hope the stick version of Mona Lisa would work.

Agriculture is all about food and fiber. Whether you know it or not, chances are you are using something that involves agriculture products or byproducts. I can see both the pros and cons for kids having to take an agriculture class. In agriculture they will learn how to grow their own food, and learn what goes into making some of our everyday products. These kids will also learn how much hard work and time goes into being a farmer or rancher. It will help them find a better understanding of why farmers and ranchers do what they do. This will allow a greater respect for our farmers and ranchers, because these kids will learn that it isn’t easy.

People do fight with what they don’t understand, or things they have never experienced first-hand. The agriculture industry is one of the most crucial jobs in the world that is also the most degraded and picked on jobs. Just because there are false images and stories going around that people believe. This subject is one of those things not everyone will agree with, and everyone has different perspectives and points of views. Just keep in mind that there are pros and cons to everything. This will be an interesting subject to talk to your ag teachers about, farmers/ranchers, and common core teachers. Ask them what they think of this subject and then decide if you are for it or against.

What do you think, should agriculture be a mandatory class?

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