"To be a premier learning system that delivers agricultural, environmental and leadership education programs and services."
What's It's About
Agricultural Education is composed of three distinct, yet interrelated components. A basic component is classroom and laboratory experiences. In the classroom, students learn concepts and theories dealing with a broad spectrum of agricultural and agribusiness topics. The classroom is followed by the laboratory mode of instruction where concepts and theories are carried through to their application. Here, the students are taught “hands-on" skills that ensure that the skills learned are practical and usable.
Both classroom and laboratory instruction are put to use in the Supervised Agricultural Experience Program (SAE) component of the program. In this approach, students work and learn in a real-life situation where they obtain on-the-job skills. SAEP can vary from the traditional home projects to entrepreneurship or cooperative work experience in production or agribusiness.
The third component, the FFA organization, provides an avenue for developing leadership skills. As an integral, intracurricular component of the agricultural education program, the FFA has numerous systems to deliver instruction in leadership. In addition, FFA provides incentives for improved student performance through its awards program. Teachers of agriculture have always stressed the problem solving and decision making approach to teaching. Through this approach, students are better equipped to cope with changes that are constantly occurring, not only in agricultural industry but also in life in general. The strength of the program lies in the flexibility and dedication of teachers whose philosophy is, "We don't just teach agriculture, we teach students."
The optimal benefit of the program is received when a student is an active participant of all three parts of the program. A program that is developed to include the three components with equal weighting is said to have a "balanced approach" and therefore, is providing optimal opportunities for all students. The challenge is developing the balance and maintaining it. However, the focus for all programs in relation to total school improvement is to stay focused on a balanced program, develop strategies to be focused, and evaluate the effectiveness of our balanced program.