Farm Bureau calls agriculture education bill before Congress ‘critical’ for industry’s future

The nation’s largest agricultural organization is calling an ag education bill before Congress critical for ensuring the industry’s future.

congressThe House of Representatives recently passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education Act for the 21st Century, which reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

R.J. Karney, director of Congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation, said the legislation is vital for the future of agricultural businesses.

“High school career and technical education programs are vital for developing talent and leadership, especially needed in farming and agricultural services, and also with regards to building economic futures in rural communities,” Karney asserted.

The bill provides career and technical education plus post-high school job training and retraining, which Karney said “will really benefit rural America to sustain jobs, all of which are necessary to sustain a skilled workforce. It’s just as critical in urban and suburban communities as it is in rural America, and so the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act is providing a focus which will provide economic viability for rural communities.”

Karney noted that programs in the Perkins act cover areas of study such as horticulture and forestry, as well as crop and animal sciences.

“The Senate has not passed a bill yet,” he added, “and American Farm Bureau will be working with senators to ensure that the Perkins bill is reauthorized since it is such a critical component for achieving a viable workforce within rural communities, starting entrepreneur businesses and furthering agricultural leaders within the agricultural system.”