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National Agriculture in the Classroom

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Agricultural Literacy

What is agricultural literacy?

National Research Council established the Agricultural Education in Secondary Schools Committee to examine the status and forecast the future of agricultural education. The Committee published its findings in a report, Understanding Agriculture: New Directions for Education (1988), and defined agricultural literacy as:

An agriculturally literate person would understand the food and fiber system and this would include its history and its current economic, social and environmental significance to all Americans (p.8).

Researchers, practitioners, and government officials, convened in Washington DC on April 17, 2013, to develop a National Agricultural Literacy Logic Model. To support this model, an agriculturally literate person was defined as:

A person who understands and can communicate the source and value of agriculture as it affects our quality of life.

National Research Council. (1988). Understanding Agriculture: New Directions for Education. National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. Retrieved from

Agricultural Literacy Guiding Publications

What K-12 students should know about agriculture - National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes (2013)

A Logic Model for Agricultural Literacy – Research Paper and Poster Handout

National Research Council of the National Academies - Understanding Agriculture: New Directions for Education (1988)

National Research Council of the National Academies - Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World (2009)

The American Association for Agricultural Education - National Research Agenda

A Message to AITC Teachers from Nobel Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug

Agricultural Literacy Research

Use Google Scholar search for content related to agricultural literacy and Agriculture in the Classroom will yield several published articles.

Review the resources of the USDA-AES supported Agricultural Literacy Multistate Research Committee on the National Center for Agricultural Literacy website.

Specific Agriculture in the Classroom Program Baseline Data