The president of Huntington University says retaining agriculture education talent to teach the next generation of ag professionals is a major struggle. Sherilyn Emberton tells Inside INdiana Business the biggest gap is in the ability to provide ag education at the high school level. She says many talented, well-educated students earn their ag education degree and then are hired into the corporate ag industry.
Emberton says the biggest challenge is getting the message out to students. "Ag has a great story. Historically, they’ve always been interested in our footprint in environmental stewardship and in feeding the world, but we haven’t made that story and made that case very well. I think this generation can help us make that case."
Emberton says raising the next generation of high school ag educators will contribute to the national agriculture conversation. In November, Huntington received approval from the Indiana State Board of Education for its agricultural education program. Students in the program will will be able to take new courses in agriculture and agriculture instruction, as well as existing courses in agribusiness and education.