Martin, M. J., Enns, K., & Hartmann, K. (2022). Agrarianism in agricultural education: A narrative study. Journal of Agricultural Education, 63(3), 135-148. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2022.03135
Agriculturalists can be divided into broad ideological camps with differing value sets. While many different groups exist, there are two primary ideological groups: (1) conventional or agrarian populists and (2) non-conventional or neo-agrarians. Agricultural education students’ values about agriculture shape how they will work in their future classrooms, schools, and communities, as well as how they will interact with students and community members. The purpose of this narrative study was to describe undergraduate agricultural education students’ conceptualization of their values about agriculture. The findings from this study highlighted the polarization of ideologies in American agriculture. The agricultural education students’ conceptualization of agricultural values was largely conventional. Some students formed conventional agriculture values as they grew up, while other students experienced a change of their values towards conventional attitudes while in college. Students’ responses to others with differing values ranged from indifferent to negative. These differences indicate a real challenge for post-secondary agricultural educators. Students have the right to maintain their own values in agriculture, however they must be able to work with others who have differing values. Research is needed to evaluate effective ways to help students learn how to work with people who have differing agricultural values.