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Agricultural Education Center


Why Agriculture?

Why agriculture? Isn't this a dying industry? 


Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. AGRICULTURE DOES NOT END WITH FARMING, THAT IS WHERE IT BEGINS! There are more than 300 different career titles in agriculture.


1 in 5 jobs in the United States is considered agricultural - that’s 20% of the workforce or approximately 20 million people who are employed by the Ag industry.


Agriculture boasts very low unemployment rates.  A 2012 study ("Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal") by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found agriculture and natural resources to be among the fields with the lowest unemployment rates - lower than business, engineering, law, the arts, and several others.


?Click here to access the Georgetown study.


?There continues to be a shortage of qualified people to fill the “professional” jobs in agriculture.  Those which require a 4 year degree according to an ongoing study ("Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Renewable Energy, and the Environment, 2010-2015") which began in 1980 and renews every 5 years by Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This study projects that only 53,500 qualified graduates will be available for about 54,400 jobs annually in the agriculture, food, and natural resources systems.  About 55% of those graduates (29,300) are expected to earn degrees from colleges of agriculture and life sciences, forestry, and natural resources.  The other 45% (estimated 24,200 graduates) will come from allied disciplines including biological sciences, engineering, health sciences, business, and communication.

Click here to access the USDA/Purdue study.


By 2050 there will be 9.3 Billion people in the world thus farmers will have to grow as much food in the next 40 years as they have produced since farming began in 10,000 B.C. Today, with only 7 Billion people, there are 1 Billion who are hungry each day.


Here in Montana, agriculture continues to be the top provider of new money into our state's economy at $3.84 Billion in 2011 which is up from $2.4 Billion in 1997.

Click here to learn more about agriculture in Montana.



Flathead County is Montana's 4th largest county, but has only 7.72% of its land in farms, yet agriculture generates more than $45 Million of new money each year to our local economy.  Among 56 Montana counties, Flathead ranks #28 in crop production and #32 in livestock production cash receipts even though we rank #52 in total farm land.


What is Agricultural Education?

The Agricultural Education Mission 

Agricultural Education prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources systems.

What is Agricultural Education?

 Agricultural education programs are built on three core areas: classroom/laboratory instruction, supervised agricultural experience programs, and FFA student organization activities/opportunities.


Yes, agricultural education classes offer traditional opportunities in livestock, crops, and Ag mechanics. However, we remain on the cutting edge of technology by teaching students skills in GPS and precision agriculture, science, engineering, education, marketing, and sales to name a few.



FFA continues to be the premier student organization for leadership and personal skill development. It is through the FFA that students learn to be productive citizens and participate in activities that reinforce why these students will be the leaders of tomorrow’s agriculture industry. With 283 members, the Flathead FFA represents 11% of Montana’s total FFA membership!


SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) is work-based learning at its best. AgEd promotes entrepreneurship, productive work habits, and the application of skills learned in class to the real world. In 2009, Montana Ag students documented earnings at a whopping $4.3 million! Many of those dollars were earned through entrepreneurial ventures and the rest by being dependable workers at a job.  Either of these scenarios provides students with real world experience, the opportunity to explore careers and make future contacts, and an idea of the further training necessary to enter into their chosen career.  Plus, they learn to be good business people by learning to keep financial records. Kalispell,Agricultural Education students (10th – 12thgrade) documented earnings of $250,000 in 2012.]






Flathead FFA Chapter
Est. 1930
Proudly serving students from both Flathead and Glacier High Schools in Kalispell, MT
Please click the links below for more information about FFA at the local, state, and national levels.