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Students will use infographics and charts to explore the careers that produce food, clothing, shelter, and fuel along with a variety of agricultural STEM careers requiring critical thinkers and problem solvers.
agriculture: the science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and in varying degrees the preparation and marketing of the resulting products
Everyone has a connection to agriculture. Because agriculture is the endeavor that supports everyone’s basic needs (food, clothing, and shelter), innovations in agriculture have been a result of the integration and application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In agriculture there are five CTE Career Pathways: Agricultural Systems Technology, Animal Science, Food Production and Processing Systems, Natural Resource Systems, and Plant Systems. Within these CTE Pathways you will find the career of farmer and rancher. Over the last two centuries, the number of farmers and ranchers needed to produce food, clothing, and shelter has decreased. The number of farmers and farm workers in the US workforce fell from a high of 98% in 1776, to 12% in the 1950s, to about 2% today. How is this possible? The US population has grown from 76 million in 1900 to 316 million in 2013. With this growth in population why are there fewer farmers and ranchers? The answer, STEM innovations related to on farm production and the growth of agricultural businesses to distribute agricultural goods and services.
To meet our current and future needs, agricultural STEM innovators (scientists and engineers), implementers (technicians), and agricultural business leaders are needed to fill a variety of agricultural careers. These innovators, implementers, and leaders will need to think critically and solve problems related to our everyday survival.
Each year the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the United States Department of Labor gather massive amounts of data. The USDA gathers consumer information, producer data, production data, and economic data. The Bureau of Labor gathers data about America’s workforce. Specifically, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (part of the Department of Labor) is the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Much of the data collected by these agencies is quantitative and is presented in a variety of chart or graphs. In this lesson, students will explore specific agricultural careers by interpreting infographics that present “career findings” through images, graphs, and charts. Most agricultural jobs are STEM related and the “M” or mathematic component requires that students be able to collect data, analyze the data, and present findings for others. This lesson engages students with infographics and introduces them to the types of charts and graphs used in and used to define agricultural careers.
Activity 1: Exploring Top Careers in Agriculture
Activity 2: Exploring Career Profiles
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation
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Develop your own or have students develop infographics about specific agricultural careers of particular interest. The following resources are a sampling of those available for developing your own infographics:
Utah Agriculture in the Classroom