WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Agriculture Education

Buzzy phrases like “regenerative agriculture” and “precision farming” are gaining traction among younger farmers looking to produce more sustainably. But implementing newer practices can require education and training.

Some schools in Nebraska are embracing the interest in specialized agriculture degrees, and want to make them more accessible to students across the region.

Fields, crops and farm animals are part of the agriculture-industry landscape, but an increasingly small one.

The number of farm and ranch managers shrunk by about 20 percent between 1996 and 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics. At the same time, there are more students graduating from ag colleges, and, in many parts of the country, 80 percent to 90 percent of them find a job (or go for an advanced degree) within a few months of graduating.

Rich Egger

Construction is complete on the greenhouse at Macomb High School, while construction is just getting started on the renovation project at Lincoln School.

 Gov. Bruce Rauner says he supports one of Illinois' top industries: Agriculture. But critics say a recent plan goes against his own assertion that he's a “strong advocate” for it.

(Photo courtesy of Colorado State University Photography)

Close to 60,000 jobs are set to open up in agriculture, food and natural resource sectors each year for the next five years, according to a report from Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The American agriculture industry has a problem though; there are not enough grads to fill them. The report projects about two open jobs for every qualified graduate. That’s left the USDA, land grant universities and private industry scrambling to try and bridge the gap.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Farms aren’t just for food any more.

WIU's School of Ag Gets Greenhouse

Jun 17, 2014
TSPR's Emily Boyer

Construction will begin this month on a greenhouse for Western Illinois University’s School of Agriculture.

Pike County calls itself the "pork capital of the world." However, in an area so tied to farming, it might be a bit surprising that a local school district has cut its agriculture education program.  I graduated from high school there five years ago, and went back to report on how districts are struggling to pay for activities not tied to the core curriculum.

Galesburg Ok's Urban Farming

Oct 26, 2013
SSS

Galesburg is making it easier for people to grow more of their own food.

"Farm to Fork" Teaches Kids to Farm in Town

Aug 12, 2013
SSS

In a small classroom at Knox College, a group of kids sat in a circle of tables, surrounded by seed catalogs and marked up sheets of paper.

McDonough County 4-H Fair Shows Kids' Hard Work

Jul 12, 2013
SSS

One of the hallmarks of summer is going to the fair and for many kids in farm country the center piece of going to the fair is showing their animals.

Agriculture Education

Oct 5, 2012

Jason Parrott’s guest on Emphasis is Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, who is the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University.   They talk about the past, present and future of agriculture education.