EC-15 | June 2022
Many times when youth are asked about agriculture careers, they only think about farmers and veterinarians; however, there are many agriculture-related jobs. Although agriculture is a multi-billion dollar industry that directly affects everyone in the world, employers still struggle to find qualified candidates to fill vacancies within the agriculture career sector. According to AgHires (https://aghires.com/6-reasons-careers-agriculture/), in 2016 there were 21.4 million jobs related to the agricultural/food industry.
With the United States’s growing population largely located in urban and suburban areas and most of the population being several generations removed from direct work in farming, it is imperative to educate youth about agriculture and related careers. It is also essential to conduct workforce preparation education to prepare young people for the country’s growing number of agriculture and related job vacancies.
Career AGsperience is an agriculture career workforce preparation program designed to increase participants’ knowledge of agriculture careers and preparation for careers in animal science, environmental science, agri-business and leadership, and agricultural science and technology. The peer-reviewed curriculum contains lessons that are based around the following workforce preparation topics:
- agriculture careers
- career planning
- resume development
- internship acquisition
- interviewing skills
- business etiquette
Each lesson is written in the 5E (Engagement, Exploration, Explanation, Extension and Evaluation) lesson format. With the exception of contacting guest presenters, the curriculum is self-contained and ready to be taught with little advance preparation.
The curriculum includes supplemental materials and assessment tools for virtual and in-person programming. The program strives to increase the number of youth pursuing post-secondary degrees and careers in agriculture-related fields. Additionally, the program is supported with a website and a YouTube channel with career videos and supplementary learning videos. The target audience for this program is middle and high school students. The curriculum can be taught in person or virtually and was developed to be taught as a full-day session or a series of six two-hour learning sessions. Lesson topics can also be taught individually. Although the curriculum has been developed for agriculture-related careers, most topics can easily be adapted for career exploration in other career sectors.
This publication, Career AGsperience (EC-15) is a part of a collection produced by the University of Maryland Extension within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
The information presented has met UME peer-review standards, including internal and external technical review. For help accessing this or any UME publication contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on this and other topics, visit the University of Maryland Extension website at extension.umd.edu
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