Development and Validation of a Children’s Agricultural Literacy Instrument for Local Food


  • Sara Brune North Carolina State University
  • Kathryn T. Stevenson North Carolina State University
  • Whitney Knollenberg North Carolina State University
  • Carla Barbieri North Carolina State University



agricultural literacy, attitudes, children’s scale, local foods


While increasing agricultural literacy (AL) has been the focus of numerous educational programs, few AL scales have been developed specifically for children. AL programming struggles to rigorously evaluate their programs, particularly when little time is available for assessments in informal contexts. The lack of evaluation tools that allow to accurately measure educational impacts compromises progress on AL. In this paper, we present the development and validation of the Agricultural Literacy Instrument for Local Foods (ALI-LF) for children between the ages of 9 and 13. The instrument measures three domains of agricultural literacy (knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors). We pilot tested the instrument with children between 9 and 13 years old at a local arboretum and further validated the instrument at six agritourism farms. To analyze the data, we used principal component factor, Cronbach’s alpha, and descriptive statistics. The results support a comprehensive reliable instrument validated for informal contexts, such as farms offering recreational or educational activities to visitors (i.e., agritourism). This instrument fills the existing gap of adequate tools to evaluate AL programming which can support moving forward AL advances among children.


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How to Cite

Brune, S., Stevenson, K. T., Knollenberg, W., & Barbieri, C. (2020). Development and Validation of a Children’s Agricultural Literacy Instrument for Local Food. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(3), 233–260.