WHEREAS, the world population has reached seven (7) billion people and is predicted to reach nine (9) billion in the next 40 years; and
WHEREAS, we need to increase the number of students studying for agriculture careers, thus increasing the supply of human capital to serve the needs of the industry over the next 40 years; this need includes agricultural educators, scientists, technologists, producers, and business people in over 300 possible careers in agriculture; and
WHEREAS, Agricultural Education, a career and technical education program that emphasizes the science, business and technology of agriculture and supports all levels of our education system and meets the ever-expanding global employment needs of the 21st Century; and
WHERAS, there is a shortage of agriculture teachers nationwide due to retirements, lack of supply of new teachers and increases in the number of new agricultural education programs; 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; and
WHEREAS, a secondary Agricultural Education program that is recognized by the New Jersey Department of Education as a Program of Study must articulate with a postsecondary institution to provide college credit for high school agriculture courses leading to seamless transitions from high school to college and careers; and
WHEREAS, these successful transitions result in increased supply of human capital for the agriculture industry; and
WHEREAS, articulation agreements between secondary and post-secondary institutions will supply more ‘college ready’ agriculture students to our county colleges and state land-grant university; and
WHREREAS, post-secondary institution review and the decision to offer college credit for Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) courses will positively impact at least 17 high school districts and their students immediately, thus offering the possibility of seamless transitions to college and careers in agriculture.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the delegates of the 98th State Agricultural Convention assembled in Atlantic City, NJ on February 6-7, 2013 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 the awarding of college credit for rigorous secondary agriculture courses; support continual improvement of resources and services to all Agricultural Education programs at the middle, secondary and post-secondary levels in New Jersey; and support the development of a strong agricultural teacher preparation program at Rutgers, The State University to supply our schools with well-trained agricultural educators.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Rutgers, The State University (School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and Graduate School of Education) take an aggressive effort to renew the agricultural teacher education program using quality guidelines of American Association of Agricultural Educators (AAAE).
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we support having more articulation agreements established between secondary agriculture programs and the county colleges and the state land-grant university to help students gain college credit in high school for rigorous, academic/STEM based agriculture courses and therefore supply more human capital, educated and ready to serve the agriculture industry.