Our Programs:
Adult Agricultural Education
in Missouri

Adult agricultural education classes and activities have been an important component of agricultural education in Missouri since the program's beginning. Adult education is offered as an extension of the high school agricultural education program and is supervised by the local school board in each community. Funding comes from the State of Missouri, local school districts, fees and other means of local support.

Local adult agricultural education programs take various forms and are designed to be of specific benefit to producers and patrons of the community. Most adult agricultural education programs include one or more of three major components: (a) adult education classes, (b) a Farm Business Management Analysis program and (c) a chapter of the Missouri Young Farmers organization.

Adult Education Classes

One-session "topics" classes long have been, and still are, a viable part of adult education in agriculture. The classes tend to address current problems and issues, update enrollees about new technologies, and explore subjects of general interest to a fairly diverse audience. Currently, they are the most common type of adult class offered. "Topics" classes typically include eight to 12 sessions and meet weekly, biweekly or monthly – primarily during the winter. The classes usually are offered in conjunction with a local Young Farmer chapter that is affiliated with the Missouri Young Farmers Association.

"In-depth" classes are becoming a popular way of providing agricultural education to adults. An "in-depth" class is a series of sessions about the same topic (for example, a two- to eight-session series about horticulture, marketing, forestry or agricultural mechanics). Because content is specialized, enrollment sometimes is more limited. Traditionally, "topic" and "in-depth" classes are offered as part of local programs, and instructors are paid an hourly rate based on instructional time.

Farm Business Management Analysis

The Farm Business Management Analysis (FBMA) program is another type of adult education in agriculture. The program involves class work, on-site visits and farm-record analysis – all designed to improve farm management and help farmers achieve their personal, financial and farm business goals.

Missouri Young Farmers Organization

A significant development in adult leadership training was the formation of the Missouri Young Farmers and Young Farm Wives organizations in 1972. The organizations involve adults in educational and leadership activities at the local, district, state and national levels. Membership in the organizations is open to persons of any age. State activities include a two-day convention in February, a 2½-day agricultural tour in August and participation in the Governor’s Conference on Agriculture.

Some facts and figures describe the status of adult agricultural education in Missouri:

  • More than 3,000 adults enrolled in DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)-reimbursed agriculture classes in 2009-2010.

  • Forty-four schools received DESE reimbursements for adult classes in 2009-2010.

  • There were 44 active Young Farmers chapters in 2009-2010. State membership totaled 1,033.

  • Agriculture instructors in 30 schools had part or all of their time scheduled for adult instruction in 2009-2010, and more than 150 farm families enrolled in the FBMA program.

Other Resources

Adult Education in Agriculture: A Missouri Ag Education Program

Farm Business Management Analysis:
A Program for Missouri Farmers


Program Planning Handbook – 2003: Chapter 10 – Adult Education

  Administrative Guidelines

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Department of Agricultural Education | Division of Applied Social Sciences
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources | University of Missouri-Columbia

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Last updated June 8 , 2005.

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