Kararo, M. J., & Knobloch, N. A. (2018). An analysis of education-related policies regarding the participation potential of homeschool students in agricultural education and FFA. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(3), 36-57 https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2018.03036
The number of parents in the U.S. choosing to homeschool their children is steadily growing. With a strong demand for college graduates in food, agriculture and natural resources careers, there is an opportunity for homeschooled high school students to explore agricultural careers and develop entrepreneurship and leadership skills through Agricultural Education and FFA programs. The homeschool population has largely been an untapped market of potential participants for Agricultural Education and FFA programs. This is important because increasing access for all students, including non-traditional students, is an organizational goal for National FFA. Yet, few researchers have investigated current and potential intersections of school-based Agricultural Education, FFA participation, and homeschoolers. This study analyzed the potential of homeschool student participation in secondary agriculture programs, specifically school-based Agricultural Education and FFA, for all 50 states. Each state’s potential with regards to homeschool student participation was determined by a qualitative policy analysis utilizing evaluation coding. States were delineated into categories based upon their part-time public school enrollment policies, homeschooling regulations, and FFA membership requirements as defined in state FFA constitutions. Current program participation pathways were defined as well as strategies for increasing homeschool student awareness of and access to Agricultural Education programs and FFA membership.