Florida Farm Bureau and Ag Community Leaders Rally to Keep Agricultural Education

March 2022 FloridAgriculture eNewsletter

Florida Farm Bureau and other agricultural leaders joined forces to express opposition in removing Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources from a revamped National Career Clusters® Framework.

Through an initiative called “Advancing the National Career Clusters Framework,” Advance CTE, a non-profit agency that works with the U.S. Department of Education recently proposed a new draft of the National Career Clusters® aimed to modernize the 16 National Career Clusters Framework to better bridge education and work.

The proposal reduced the 16 clusters to 12, removing Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources as one of the Pathways to College & Career Readiness CareerClusters® and nesting it under two different clusters, Energy and Food & Natural Resources.

Eliminating the word “Agriculture” from the Framework, theoretically eliminates the need for specialized ‘agriculture-based’ programming and has the potential to have far-reaching negative consequences to the industry.

After receiving thousands of comments, Advance CTE opted to suspend the initiative to drop agriculture as its own career cluster.

Florida’s agriculture and food system supports more than 2 million jobs throughout the state’s economy. There were 77,619 students enrolled in middle and high school agriculture, food & natural resources programs in the 2019-20 school year.

Florida Farm Bureau’s AEST program directly prepares students for agricultural careers by providing them verifiable industry certifications that prepare them for agricultural careers nationwide. Students can receive industry certifications in 11 agricultural areas across Florida and Louisiana.

Florida Farm Bureau is an advocate for agricultural education and has policy that supports agricultural education at the secondary level.