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National Agriculture in the Classroom

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Mission and Vision

The mission of Agriculture in the Classroom is to "increase agricultural literacy through K-12 education." An agriculturally literate person is defined as "one who understands and can communicate the source and value of agriculture as it affects our quality of life." Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) programs seek to improve student achievement by applying authentic, agricultural-based content as the context to teach core curriculum concepts in science, social studies, language arts and nutrition. By encouraging teachers to embed agriculture into their classroom, AITC cultivates an understanding and appreciation of the food and fiber system that we all rely on every day. AITC's vision that "agriculture is valued by all" is unique within the agricultural education community and positions itself as the lead organization to serve the full spectrum of K-12 formal education.

Agriculture in the Classroom Program Structure

The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)–Agriculture in the Classroom Team, support state programs by providing a network of opportunities to improve agricultural literacy — awareness, knowledge, and appreciation — among K-12 teachers and their students.

State Agriculture in the Classroom programs are implemented by each state according to state needs and interests. Depending on how state governments implemented their programs with the request from USDA in 1981, state AITC programs may be housed in farm organizations, private associations, foundations, institutions of higher education, or within governmental organizations.

The USDA provides program guidance and grants to the NAITCO to develop and conduct programs and initiatives that meet the overall mission and goals for advancing agricultural literacy. Specifically, USDA- NIFA supports: an annual national conference; a national website and online curriculum map and resource directory; professional development for state contacts, and regional AITC meetings. View the National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix as highlighted in USDAs 2015 Annual Report on impacts (p. 29).

The NAITCO is a professional organization networking state programs. Its purpose is to assume and maintain a national leadership role in promoting agricultural literacy with the vision that "agriculture is valued by all!"
Read our annual report.

To learn more, visit our pages on the history of Agriculture in the Classroom and the research connected to agricultural literacy.

Download our Informational Brochure and Sphere of Influence Activity.