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.