August 23, 2012
The agricultural sector in the U.S. is one of the few industries to withstand the worst of the 2008 financial crisis, as growing food is recession-proof and the production of necessary crops in America will likely sustain even the worst financial setback for the country.
This is why a number of young people are looking to get into agriculture, as the sector is not only sustainable due to the influence of new technology and companies like John Deere, but it is also something that helps to keep America going, even during the most difficult of times.
Texas, one of the epicenters of progress in the sector, is seeing a resurgence of agricultural education and schools that teach related programs.
According to the Amarillo Globe-News, enrollment in Mike Morgan’s agriculture classes has increased fivefold at Waxahachie High School, just south of Dallas. While many of the students are interested in what goes into farming, he noted that many of these individuals are also curious about the technology that helps to sustain the sector.
This is not a trend that is specific to the area outside of Dallas, however, as a record 120,000 students enrolled in classes related to agriculture during the 2011-2012 school year, according to Russell Thomas, who is currently the president of the Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas.
Though the main principles behind agriculture have not swayed too much in recent history, the job of educators in the field has changed.
“The technology that we see in the industry, that has tremendously changed and our programs are changing to try to stay abreast of that,” Kevin Swor, vice president of the teachers association, told the news outlet.
Interactive lessons on drought in the Midwest, computer tablets and online videos explaining problems that can arise during each phase of farming and education about the latest equipment available to farmers are all part of many programs at schools.
Conferences help the teachers who are responsible for explaining the changes in technology understand exactly what each new tool does, and this allows them to enhance the learning experience for students.
“In ag education, we’re on the cutting edge,” said the educator. “That’s why we have this conference to get those ideas, to stay abreast, to continue to grow and continue to advance forward.”
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