Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Agricultural Communications: Tell the Story of Our Agricultural Education Programs

Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Agricultural Communications: Tell the Story of Our Agricultural Education Programs

Article excerpt

While I write these editor comments there are national stories focused on agriculture and the environment in many of our media outlets. Stories of biofuel production, pollution of our rivers and streams, water use rights, climate change, genetically modified organisms, and more are all over the headlines. Some of these articles shed positive light on agriculture and the practices being implemented to produce enough food and fiber for the world; some are not so positive. Some tell an unbiased story, and others are written in a way to show the "good" or "bad" of a topic, and to gain new "followers for the cause". We have often heard it said that we need to be telling our story or others will tell it for us. This is very true, and those of us that are closest to agriculture, and specifically agricultural education in this case, must tell our story so others know what this profession is all about. We need to inform people from all walks of life of the power of educating others "about" agriculture, so that they can be informed consumers. Additionally, we need to educate students "in" agriculture to continue being the researchers, farmers, processors, and marketers of our agricultural commodities. The agricultural education programs that we impact each and every day, and the students that make up these programs from all across the nation, are the avenue in which to tell our story. We need to educate our students to be mindful consumers of news content, but also proactive participants in sharing their own stories, especially those related to agricultural education. Students that are positively impacted by the agricultural education program are often the best representatives to tell others about the good things that are happening!

All students should have the opportunity in their agricultural education program to practice the skills, and utilize the knowledge, associated with agricultural communications. Do we, as educators, take the time to think about how we are giving our students the opportunity to communicate their agricultural education story? Do we encourage them to have an "elevator speech" about what they are learning in school? Do we encourage them to write and share a speech about their experiences in agriculture, and how they believe that may impact their future? …

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