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Supporting Academic Infusion in NJ's Agricultural Education Programs

, the world population has reached seven billion people and is predicted to reach nine billion in the next 40 years; and
WHEREAS, Agricultural Education, a career and technical education program, emphasizes science, business and technology that supports “learning that works for New Jersey and for America” at all levels of our educational system and meets the ever-expanding needs of the 21st Century; and
WHEREAS, Agricultural Education curricula, infused with rigorous academics, including STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) components, is critical to ensure global competitiveness, student achievement and an increased number of students graduating from secondary and postsecondary institutions with skills, education and experiences necessary to serve agriculture and related industries to produce food, fuel and fiber for global needs; and
WHEREAS, a secondary Agricultural Education program that is recognized by the New Jersey Department of Education as a Program of Study must have a current written agreement (leading to college credit) with a postsecondary institution to help ensure a successful transition for Agricultural Education students from high school to college; and
WHEREAS, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, supports the development of new and updated secondary programs of Agricultural Education through the implementation of the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) program and/or other academic/STEM programs of instruction for agriculture; and
WHEREAS, a quality, three-component, Agricultural Education program integrates classroom/laboratory instruction, supervised agriculture experiential (SAE) learning and leadership development (FFA) for every student; and
WHEREAS, FFA is a curriculum-based premier leadership, career and personal development tool that enhances instruction and learning in Agricultural Education; and WHEREAS, agriculture employment demand has been, and is predicted to be, greater than supply (as reported in a USDA employment opportunities study); and
WHEREAS, despite current unemployment troubles, the total number of jobs in the United States is projected to grow 10 percent between 2008 and 2018, and the number of jobs in STEM-related fields is projected to grow by 17 percent.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the delegates of the 97th State Agricultural Convention, assembled in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on January 18-19, 2012, support continuing a strong and viable Agricultural Education program in New Jersey through a continuing interagency agreement between the New Jersey Department of Education and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture; support continuing and improving resources and services to all Agricultural Education programs at the middle, secondary and post-secondary levels in New Jersey; support the development of new and updated local programs of Agricultural Education through the implementation of the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) program at Rutgers University and/or other academic/STEM infused programs of instruction for agriculture.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that rigorous academic infusion and more programs of study in Agricultural Education at the middle- and secondary-school level should be pursued in order to lead to students’ successful transitions to post-secondary education, which will increase the number of students prepared for global careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture for the 21st Century.