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WHEREAS, during the late 1990’s, New Jersey participated in a national initiative to Re-invent Agricultural Education by the Year 2020; and over 1,200 local and state stakeholders developed the vision and goals for the ‘preferred future’ of agricultural education; and

WHEREAS, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s complete program includes emphasis on the science, business and technology of agriculture, including advances in such areas as agricultural engineering, agricultural mechanics, information technology, animal science, plant science and agricultural economics and business; and

WHEREAS, the state vision and goals were unveiled in 1999 and in 2000 the first goal was realized when the New Jersey Department of Agriculture was the first state department of agriculture in the country to administer the complete program of agricultural education; and
WHEREAS, over the next five years, the State’s eight goals were the driving force for New Jersey’s program; and

WHEREAS, the 2004 New Jersey Agricultural Education Summit re-evaluated the States’ goals and objectives and set a renewed course for the future; forty participants represented NJ Agricultural Education Advisory Council, NJ Agricultural Educators Association, NJ FFA Alumni Association, NJ FFA Foundation, Inc. and NJ FFA Association; and

WHEREAS, a committee of teachers and organization representatives have developed he goals, which will sharpen our focus to lead New Jersey AFNR Education into the future and prepare students to fill the thousands of annual openings in the science, business, and technology of agriculture; these goals include:

· The creation of a public awareness for AFNR Education programs and advocating ‘standards for quality programs’ to school administrators, teachers, legislators, parents, students and agriculture industry representatives.
· The delivery of technologically advanced, scientific and applied AFNR Education to prepare students for successful careers and meet State Core Curriculum Content Standards.
· Insuring that all students have access to progressive educational delivery systems in AFNR Education.

WHEREAS, accomplishment of these goals will require an adequate funding source provided for by the State Legislature.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the delegates of the 91st State Agricultural Convention assembled in Atlantic City, New Jersey on February 8, 2006 recommend strong support for programs that equip the next generation of agriculturalists with the tools to keep New Jersey agriculture green and growing. We recommend the adoption of these goals to lead AFNR Education into the future and recommend the continuation of ongoing interagency agreements between NJDA and NJDOE to administer the AFNR Education and FFA programs in New Jersey.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we support the education of the next generation of agriculturalists by exposing young people to agriculture through Agriculture in the Classroom programs and secondary AFNR Education, which includes supervised agricultural experience (SAE) programs and leadership development through FFA. In addition, we support programs that educate young people as to professional agriculture careers and leadership opportunities available in the agriculture industry.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we support all efforts to continue and improve the relationships between our high school and college/university agriculture programs, thus creating a seamless transition between New Jersey high schools, county colleges and our land grant college, as an effort to prepare people to meet the employment demands of the science, business and technology of agriculture.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we recommend that Cook College, Rutgers AFNR Education Teacher-training program be supported so that it can meet the increased demand for certified AFNR teachers in our State due to increases in the number of programs offered and teacher turnover.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we respectfully request that the Legislature provide permanent and regular funding to support all local programs of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Education through NJDA’s Office of Agricultural Education to strengthen, improve, and update curriculum and facilities in schools that prepare students for the agriculture, food and natural resources industries and meet employment demands.

, that we encourage the various agriculture organizations and members of the agriculture community to provide financial support to these crucial programs.