Opportunities in Agriculture Needed For Bigger City High Schools

Throughout my life, I have frequently been asked what I wanted to be when I grow up, and before my last two years of high school I never really knew. During those last two years of high school, I was exposed to a completely new subject and that was agriculture. The schools I went to, did not teach agriculture. I believe this is partially because I am from a bigger city and I went to public schools.

The last two years of high school, I took agronomy and animal science classes at a
community college that counted for both high school and college credit.Those classes and joining FFA made me decide that the field of agriculture was right for me. After graduating high school, I decided that I wanted to further my education in agriculture and started attending Western Illinois University. I remember sitting in my first agronomy class at Western Illinois University and thinking this is where I am meant to be. Shortly after, I decided to make agriculture my major with a focus on the agronomy part of agriculture.


However, without the opportunities I had, I am not sure that I would have an answer for all of the people that have asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up. Nor would I have gotten the chance to develop the appreciation of agriculture that I have today. As H. Jackson Brown,  Jr.  said “nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity” and in my case if I had missed the opportunity, then that would have meant not discovering something that I am so passionate about today.

Students should have the opportunity to study agriculture in high school, no matter where they are from. Therefore, I think that there needs to be a push for agriculture to be taught in bigger city high schools. Agriculture needs to be taught in all schools to combat the uphill battle that the agriculture industry is facing with the people that are not involved in the industry. If agriculture was taught in all schools, then it would help to disprove the controversies about GMO’s and the thoughts that farmers are only in the industry to make money. It would also, allow people to have a general understanding of agriculture, teach them about where their food comes from, and what goes into their food. Agriculture is different than most other subjects because it is something that everyone is involved in whether it is by being directly in the industry or by simply eating the products that are produced.

My name is Teresa Blackwell and I am a senior at Western Illinois University. I will be graduating in May of 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science with a focus in agronomy and a minor in supply chain management.


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