Urban and Rural: More Nebraska Kids Studying Agriculture


Adams Central, Litchfield, Silver Lake, Omaha Bryan.

One of these schools is not like the others.

They're all schools that have added agriculture programs. And the Omaha school did it before these rural schools.

In all, 157 schools are now bringing agriculture into the classroom.

State ag education director Matt Kreifels told NTV, "Agriculture is the number one industry in state of Nebraska and anytime we can develop a pipeline to get students exposure and career preparation for the industry is huge, and also for the students because there's a lot of good jobs out there for them."

Many of the new programs this school year are in Class B and C schools like Adams Central. But it's been a success even in Nebraska's most urban school district.

Kreifels said, "We are happy two years ago we added a program at Omaha Bryan High School. We're exposing students from very urban population to agriculture and they could not be more excited."

Now officially known simply as FFA, Omaha kids say their friends don't quite get what they're part of.

Rosario Lamere said, "They honestly think it's weird because we're city kids and want to do agriculture is different for them."

FFA has traditionally focused on the farm and ranch.

"We don't have that in the city but we do have agriculture things," Lindsey Parks, another Omaha student said.

There's a big focus these days on science and natural resources. The Omaha kids say there's a growing interest in urban agriculture and they're excited to add a greenhouse to the school. Plus each student takes on a supervised ag experience.

Rosario said, "It's a good experience, opens a lot of doors for us."

"Looks good on a college application too," Lindsey added.

New programs can be tough to start. It's more than adding an FFA chapter. It's integrated in the curriculum and requires a teacher.

So state leaders are thrilled to see it expand, whether in Omaha or Hastings.

Kreifels said they continue to recruit young people to become ag teachers, to meet the growing demand.

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