Jones, S., Doss, W., & Rayfield, J. (2020). Examining the status of middle school agricultural education programs in the United States. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(2), 41-56. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.02041
Middle school is an important time in the development of agricultural education students and plays an
important role in increasing agricultural literacy in our society. The theoretical framework of this study
was based upon Piaget’s cognitive development theory and the importance of introducing agricultural
topics to students at the appropriate age to facilitate continued growth and development in the subject.
The purpose of this study was to examine the status of middle school agricultural education programs
in the United States and describe any changes in the past 25 years. Findings from this study revealed
an increase in middle school agricultural education enrollment and FFA membership and state FFA
leaders viewed middle school agricultural education as a positive aspect in agricultural education
leading to possible increases in high school agricultural education enrollment. Further research
concerning appropriate length of middle school agricultural programs and middle school supervised
agricultural experiences should be conducted. Recommendations for practice include developing
standards for middle school agriculture courses and adding state funding for additional middle school
programs across the nation.