Issue: Increase Agriculture/CTE Funding
Agriculture education saw a sharp decrease in funding following a bill passed in 2017. That bill moved Career and Technical Education (CTE) class funding from the Department of Education to the Department of Workforce Development. This change impacted funding levels for the agriculture education coursework and FFA programs across the state.
- Agriculture education is a three-pronged approach, incorporating classroom learning with FFA leadership training and hands-on experiential learning.
- The foundational knowledge of agriculture gained at the high school level can lead a student to pursue starting their own farm right out of high school, or to go to college and enhance their skillset for a career in the industry.
- Schools have decreased or eliminated agriculture education course offerings because there was not enough CTE money to fund the class.
- Rural and agricultural workforce development opportunities were limited. Therefore, the training and experience earned in high school did not efficiently prepare students for the next step in their workforce pursuits.
- FFA competitions and activities were significantly reduced due to a lack of funding.
Key Message/ Ask:
Indiana Farm Bureau supports the General Assembly increasing funding for agriculture education/CTE classes so that the pipeline of talent needed for the Indiana agricultural industry is filled.