- Agricultural & Biological Engineering
- Agricultural & Consumer Economics
- Agricultural Education
- Animal Sciences
- Crop Sciences
- Food Science & Human Nutrition
- Human Development & Family Studies
- Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences
- Division of Nutritional Sciences
- Agricultural Communications Program
Offices and Services:
We can make a difference
The Agricultural Education program was privileged to host the United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden earlier this week. Harden was gracious enough to devote a portion of time, while visiting Illinois, to see the U of I campus, tour the newly renovated agricultural education classroom, and most importantly, talk to students about the importance of “sharing their story” with future generations.
“You are the ones the next generation will be watching,” she said. “They will listen to you tell the story. When you are in the classroom, you’ll have their attention. You can waste that opportunity or use it.”
In addition to working directly with students in the classroom, she also encouraged them to have conversations with those outside of the agriculture industry about challenging and controversial topics. Instead of just talking about what needs to be done to educate people about important agriculture issues, she challenged students to engage in conversations with those who have different assumptions and potential misconceptions. She said to listen to them, address their concerns, and help provide a more structured framework of understanding for which they can build new knowledge.
“It’s our job to connect the dots and be thoughtful listeners,” Harden said. “You have the power to make a difference.”
It’s a great feeling to know that our industry recognizes the importance of agricultural education and the role it will have in training future generations for the joys and discomforts we find in agricultural life. The University of Illinois is helping me define and share my story, take leadership role in the agriculture industry, and challenge the future generation to meet the needs our world faces.