It’s time has come, and thanks to Senator Nevers Senate Concurrent Resolution, SCR 64, has requested a study group be established to investigate the current state of agricultural education in elementary and secondary schools and to provide a recommendation to the legislature and the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) relative to improvements in Agricultural Education.
It is an honor to have been chosen to serve on this committee. My background as a country/farm boy from Shongaloo and my days as a 4-H member, FFA member and a decades long member of the Farm Bureau as well as my current service on both the Education and Agriculture Committee’s provides me with the information and experience that I hope will give me the ability to make positive contributions to this study. The committee’s ultimate goal will be to devise and implement a possible pilot program for an agricultural immersion curriculum.
Why a study? Agriculture remains a robust and intricle part of the Louisiana Economy. Last year, according to the LSU Agricultural Center, Louisiana’s farmers and ranchers generated over 11 billion dollars in income, which was a Louisiana record.
Is there a need? We must invigorate or reinvent the lure to maintain and encourage our young people to participate in this important and necessary vocation. Other states have adopted agriculture immersion programs, including a school farm so that students may develop teamwork skills, build character, learn responsibility and study the intricate details about the business of agriculture.
This is one Art that we cannot afford to lose. It is a fact that Agriculture is the foundation that must be maintained. A workforce that trumps all others for without it, the result is hunger for us all and as always, impacting the financially challenged, elderly and the disabled the most.
I am excited that we are addressing this looming issue and hoping that we find the protocol to make it happen.
State Representative Henry Burns