Primary and Secondary School Students’ Knowledge and Perceptions of Agriculture


  • Jaime Manning CQ University Australia
  • Amy Cosby CQUniversity Australia
  • Nicole McDonald CQ University Australia
  • Eloise Fogarty CQ University Australia


agricultural knowledge, secondary school students, primary school students, agricultural education


Agriculture is a significant contributor to the global economy and critical for future food and fibre production. To maximise the industry efficiencies and improve sustainability, a knowledgeable workforce is essential. Today’s school-aged youth will be the next generation agriculture workforce. However, there is concern that today’s youth are more detached from agriculture than ever before, viewing the industry as an unattractive career prospect and possessing low levels of agricultural literacy. Using a qualitative approach, this research presents the results from an open-response survey item asking Australian primary and secondary students to ‘list three words you think of when you hear the word ‘agriculture’’. Focus groups with Australian primary and secondary teachers were also conducted to explore these findings. Overall, students appear to have what can be described as a conventional understanding of agriculture as it relates to traditional farming, particularly animal production. However, students appeared to have a lower level of understanding and perception of the industry in less-traditional settings, including modern careers and the technologies involved. Improved agricultural education in Australia, including both formal and informal programs on possible career paths and technology adoption in the industry is recommended to support knowledge development of the modern sector to attract the next generation workforce.


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How to Cite

Manning , J., Cosby, A., McDonald, N., & Fogarty, E. (2024). Primary and Secondary School Students’ Knowledge and Perceptions of Agriculture . Journal of Agricultural Education, 65(2), 226–240. Retrieved from



Journal of Agricultural Education