Career Development

What Does an Agriculture Teacher Do?

Find out what an Agriculture Teacher does, how to get this job, salary information, and what it takes to succeed as an Agriculture Teacher.

An Agriculture Teacher plays a multifaceted role in educating students about the vast world of agriculture, from the basics of plant and animal science to the complexities of agribusiness management. This position involves crafting a curriculum that not only meets educational standards but also engages students with hands-on learning experiences, such as managing a school garden or caring for farm animals. By integrating practical activities with theoretical knowledge, the teacher aims to instill a deep appreciation and understanding of the agricultural sector’s impact on society and the environment. Through this comprehensive approach, students are equipped with the skills and insights needed to explore various career paths within the agricultural field or simply to become more informed consumers and citizens.

Agriculture Teacher Job Duties

  • Develop and deliver comprehensive lesson plans that cover various aspects of agriculture, including plant and animal science, agricultural technology, and agribusiness management.
  • Evaluate and assess student progress through assignments, tests, and projects to ensure understanding of agricultural concepts and practical applications.
  • Facilitate hands-on learning experiences in settings such as school farms, laboratories, and workshops to provide students with practical agricultural skills.
  • Organize and supervise student participation in Future Farmers of America (FFA) events, competitions, and leadership activities to enhance their learning and personal development.
  • Collaborate with colleagues, industry professionals, and community organizations to arrange field trips, guest lectures, and work experience opportunities that expose students to real-world agricultural practices.
  • Manage classroom resources, including agricultural equipment and supplies, ensuring they are available and in good condition for student use.
  • Advocate for agricultural education within the school and wider community, highlighting its importance and encouraging support for program initiatives and student projects.
  • Implement and maintain safety protocols for all agricultural activities, ensuring that students understand and adhere to safety guidelines to prevent accidents and injuries.

Agriculture Teacher Salary & Outlook

Agriculture Teacher salaries vary based on experience, educational background, and specialization within agriculture (e.g., animal science, agronomy). School type (public vs. private) and funding sources can also influence earnings. Additionally, involvement in extracurricular activities, like FFA advising, may impact compensation.

  • Median Annual Salary: $49,350 ($23.73/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $70,500 ($33.89/hour)

The employment of agriculture teachers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

This growth is driven by increasing awareness of sustainable farming practices and the need for food security. As schools expand agricultural education to address these issues, demand for qualified Agriculture Teachers who can impart knowledge on modern farming techniques and environmental conservation will rise.

Agriculture Teacher Job Requirements

Education: Agriculture teachers often possess advanced degrees, with a significant portion holding Doctoral Degrees or engaging in Post-Doctoral Training, and a smaller percentage having Master’s Degrees. Their education typically spans various agriculture-related fields, including agronomy, animal science, and environmental science, among others. Prospective agriculture teachers usually major in Agricultural Education or a closely related discipline, ensuring they have a comprehensive understanding of both theoretical and practical aspects of agriculture, alongside pedagogical skills for effective teaching.

Experience: Agriculture Teachers typically come with a rich background in practical farming, livestock management, and agricultural science, often gained through hands-on roles in the agriculture sector. Many have progressed from working directly in fields or with animals to sharing their knowledge in a classroom setting. On-the-job training and participation in specialized agricultural training programs are common, equipping them with the latest techniques and technologies in sustainable farming, crop management, and animal husbandry. This blend of direct experience and formal training programs prepares them to educate the next generation of agricultural professionals.

Certifications & Licenses: Agriculture teachers typically require a state-issued teaching license or certification specific to teaching agriculture education. Some states may also require the Praxis Agriculture Subject Assessment for licensure. No other specific certifications or licenses are commonly required for this position.

Agriculture Teacher Skills

Crop Management: Agriculture educators need comprehensive knowledge about plant growth phases, soil vitality, and the judicious application of fertilizers and pesticides to maximize harvests. They should be skilled in guiding students through weather pattern analysis and the adoption of sustainable farming techniques to reduce risks and boost crop production.

Livestock Nutrition: Knowledge about the nutritional requirements and health care of various livestock species is critical for agriculture teachers. They play a significant role in instructing students on enhancing animal growth, reproduction, and health through appropriate feeding practices. Their curriculum includes principles of animal diet, formulation, and the effects of nutrition on livestock productivity.

Agricultural Mechanics: Proficiency in the use of agricultural machinery and tools, ranging from tractors to irrigation systems, is necessary for those teaching this subject. They ensure students can safely operate and maintain equipment, providing a mix of theoretical knowledge and practical skills for equipment troubleshooting and repair.

Soil Science: Teachers in this field must understand the physical and chemical characteristics of soils to inform crop selection, fertilization, and irrigation decisions. They equip students with the knowledge to make sound agricultural and land management choices.

Agribusiness Management: Instructing students on market analysis, farm financial management, and strategic planning prepares them for the agricultural business world. Teachers in this area connect practical farming methods with the economic principles underlying the agribusiness sector.

Sustainable Farming Practices: Educators in agriculture are tasked with teaching how to achieve high-yield farming while maintaining environmental health. They incorporate crop rotation, soil preservation, water conservation, and eco-friendly pest control into their lessons, aiming to prepare students for implementing farming practices that support the sustainability of food systems.

Agriculture Teacher Work Environment

Agriculture teachers often find themselves in a diverse work environment that spans classrooms, laboratories, and outdoor settings such as farms or greenhouses. Their workspace is equipped with tools and equipment necessary for both theoretical teaching and practical demonstrations, including computers, projectors, and agricultural tools.

Work hours for agriculture teachers can extend beyond the typical school day, as they may oversee extracurricular activities like FFA (Future Farmers of America) or supervise projects and field trips. This role demands a dress code that is both professional for the classroom and practical for outdoor activities, often requiring a change of clothes or protective gear.

The culture within this profession is deeply rooted in community and hands-on learning, fostering a high level of interaction with students, colleagues, and industry professionals. Despite the varied and sometimes unpredictable work environment, agriculture teachers are supported through opportunities for professional development, enhancing their teaching methods and staying current with advancements in agricultural technology. This career offers a unique blend of indoor and outdoor work, requiring adaptability and a passion for both education and agriculture.

Advancement Prospects

Agriculture teachers, pivotal in shaping future agricultural professionals, can advance their careers by transitioning into roles such as department heads or curriculum developers within educational institutions. This progression often involves taking on more administrative responsibilities and leading initiatives to innovate agricultural education.

Another path includes moving into higher education, where experienced teachers can become lecturers or professors in agricultural colleges, contributing to research and the development of new teaching methodologies.

Additionally, some agriculture teachers leverage their expertise to consult for agricultural businesses or government agencies, advising on education and training programs. This shift not only broadens their impact on the agricultural sector but also opens opportunities for entrepreneurship in agri-education.

Achieving these advancements typically requires a blend of practical experience, a deep understanding of both modern agricultural practices and educational strategies, and a track record of leadership or innovation in their current role.


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