W2006: Multistate Agricultural Literacy Research

(Multistate Research Project)

Status: Active

W2006: Multistate Agricultural Literacy Research

Duration: 10/01/2014 to 09/30/2019

Administrative Advisor(s):


NIFA Reps:


Statement of Issues and Justification

Agriculture impacts the food, health, economy, environment, technology, and well-being of all. We are a nation that has reaped the benefits of a successful agricultural system. This has allowed our society to flourish, engage in leisure activities, and dream about future endeavors. Our successful innovations concerning food and fiber have resulted in fewer farmers and larger yields. However, this success story has come with a consequence—a society that has little understanding concerning agricultural production and processing, and how this system meets our basic needs (food, clothing, shelter), and relates or interacts with a sustainable environment and our quality of life. Daily decisions made by individuals, through dollars and voting, affect our agricultural system—from soil to spoon. If U.S. agriculture is going to continue to meet the needs of the U.S. population and address growing global needs, agriculture needs to be understood and valued by all.

By 2050 the world’s population is projected to reach 9 billion people requiring agricultural production to double—with less land and water—while sustaining our planet. More food will have to be produced in the next 50 years than the past 10,000 years combined. The U.S. agricultural sector annually accounts for 1% ($159 billion) of the $15.9 trillion U.S. GDP (Spielmaker, Pastor & Stewardson, 2014, p. 11).

While this percentage appears to be low, it should be noted that, as a country, the U.S. has the largest economy in the world (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013). The current 1% of the U.S. population working on farms is supported by nearly 21 million agricultural sector related U.S. workers, or about 15% of the total U.S. workforce (Goecker, Smith, Smith, & Goetz, 2010).

Annually, there are about 54,000 jobs in agriculture but only about 29,000 students are graduating in directly related agricultural degree programs, consequently creating a 45% gap. (Goecker, et al., 2010). With only 1% of the U.S. population actively engaged on farms and 15% in related careers, a majority of consumers—youths and adults—do not have a fundamental understanding of agriculture or how it impacts their lives. In addition, as agriculture has become more specialized, even those engaged in agriculture may know little about the resources and other inputs used to produce food, clothing, and shelter outside of their purview. In order to meet the challenges of the future, it is imperative that young people and adults become informed, “agriculturally literate” consumers, advocates, and policymakers regarding agricultural issues.

In 1988, the National Research Council of the National Academies appointed a committee of agricultural educators and researchers to determine the future direction of agricultural education. The committee published its findings in a report titled, Understanding Agriculture: New Directions for Education. In this report the committee stated that “Agriculture—broadly defined—is too important a topic to be taught only to the relatively small percentage of students considering careers in agriculture…” (National Research Council, 1988, p. 8). The committee also published these two important findings: 1) “Most Americans know very little about agriculture, its social and economic significance in the United States, and particularly its links to human health and environmental quality,” and 2) “Few systematic educational efforts are made to teach or otherwise develop agricultural literacy in students of any age. Although children are taught something about agriculture, the material tends to be fragmented, frequently outdated, usually only farm oriented, and often negative or condescending in tone” (p. 21). This committee recommended that “Beginning in kindergarten and continuing through twelfth grade, all students should receive some systematic instruction about agriculture” (p. 20). The committee envisioned that “an agriculturally literate person would understand the food and fiber system and this would include its history and its current economic, social and environmental significance to all Americans” (p. 8).

More recently, the National Research Agenda for Agricultural Education (Doerfert, 2011) established six priorities to address issues in agricultural education. These priorities were informed by a report titled, Science Roadmap of Food and Agriculture (2010). That report identified the following societal needs (p. 2):

• The need for U.S. food and agricultural producers to be competitive in a global environment.
• The need for food and agricultural systems to be economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable.
• The need for U.S. agriculture to adapt to and contribute to the mitigation of the effects of climate variability.
• The need to enhance energy security and support a sustainable bioeconomy in the United States.
• The need for safe, healthy, and affordable foods.
• The need to address global food security and hunger.
• The need to be good stewards of the environment and natural resources.
• The need for strong and resilient individuals, families, and communities.

In an effort to address some of these societal needs that would result in long term sustainable solutions, Priority 1 of the National Research Agenda suggested research in the area of: Public and Policy Maker Understanding[s] of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Within the priority, authors identify areas of scientific focus that include (p. 8):

• Increasing our understanding of related message and curriculum development, delivery method preferences and effectiveness, and the extent of change in audience knowledge, attitudes, perceptions and behaviors after experiencing an educational program or consuming related information and messages.
• Demonstrating the impact of agricultural literacy efforts on a variety of stakeholder behaviors including consumer behavior (e.g. K-12 test scores, voting behavior, food consumption behavior). Literacy research efforts must be reciprocal in that members of the agriculture industry must also increase their understanding of various stakeholder group needs and/or behaviors.
• Determining the potential of emerging social media technologies, message formats, and strategies in realizing a citizenry capable of making agriculture-related informed decisions.

The second research bullet is aligned with the National Agricultural Literacy Logic Model (Appendix A) objectives and supports agricultural literacy intended Knowledge/Behavior/Skill outcomes for K-20 youth (“National Agriculture in the Classroom,” 2013):

• Understand how Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is integrated into agriculture
• Identify and understand the connections between academic subjects and agricultural careers including, but not limited to, STEM
• Understand the relationships between agriculture, the environment, plants and animals for food, fiber, energy, health, and society and economics
• Understand the importance and value of agriculture in their daily life
• Practice and apply STEM skills in the context of agriculture
• Explore and pursue courses and careers related to agriculture and STEM
• Demonstrate or explain relationships between agriculture, the environment, plants and animals for food, fiber, energy, health, and society and economics
• Explain the value of agriculture and how it is important in their daily life

These published academic research priorities and nationally developed outcomes frame agricultural literacy programs. Nationally, the leading agricultural literacy program is Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC), which has a presence in 47 states. AITC is largely supported by stakeholders in the agricultural industry. In a recent survey of states, nearly half (49%) reported their entire budget came from private agriculturally related organizations or donors, and 42% reported a combination of state and private money (Spielmaker, 2012), signaling financial support for agricultural literacy at a “grass-roots” level. Stakeholders have supported agricultural literacy programs in the hope that people (primarily youth) will understand the necessity of agriculture, value agricultural production, and support agricultural science that ensures an affordable, safe, abundant, high quality food system.

AITC, and similar agricultural literacy efforts, have developed and implemented programs over the last 25 years. However, there has been limited research to detect program effectiveness or the effects of interventions on baseline knowledge and perceptions or attitudes concerning agricultural literacy concepts and agriculture’s relationship to: the environment, plants and animals for food and fiber use, lifestyle, technology, and the economy. This multistate research project seeks to measure agricultural literacy knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes; and conduct program or intervention evaluations to assess if programming is having an effect toward the goal of an agriculturally literate populous that “understands and can communicate the source and value of agriculture as it affects our quality of life” (“National Agriculture in the Classroom,” 2013).

Previous agricultural literacy research has been limited to a particular locale, population, or content area. This multistate approach would provide a continuity for measurement and increase external validity. The research objectives outlined in this proposal require a coordinated multistate approach to conduct research that results in generalizable conclusions. The information gathered in this multistate effort will provide programming staff and stakeholders with solid data for future program planning to achieve agricultural literacy outcomes.

A coordinated effort to conduct agricultural literacy research is long overdue. Recently, there has been renewed interest in food production and processing practices, i.e., agriculture. In the last decade there have been notable increases in food production/processing media, including books noted on The New York Times Best Sellers list, several “big-screen” movies, and the appearance of a variety of social media resources and groups. A necessity to explore the motivations of individuals to seek information, who these individuals are, and their associated agricultural values would improve our ability to effectively communicate knowledge about agriculture. In addition, while this “renaissance” shows a greater desire by people to understand where their food comes from and how our basic needs are met, a consumer (reader, viewer, or follower) with limited agricultural knowledge may not be able to distinguish fact from fiction, detect pseudo-science, or weigh risks and benefits. Innovations in science have also caused increased instances in which information has not been interpreted appropriately. For example, chemical levels once measured at parts per million now can be detected at parts per trillion. The perception is that food is dangerous since the detection levels are labeled as present without the consumer also understanding the level of risk. Measuring baseline knowledge and correlating this knowledge with attitudes and perceptions provides stakeholders with data for more targeted educational initiatives, but, more importantly, research-based targeted systemic educational efforts should result in people who make more informed decisions concerning agricultural policies related to science and society.

If agricultural literacy is not addressed, we (consumers) may continue to have safe food and food choices available, but these choices may be overshadowed by shortages or higher costs that potentially affect our ability to meet our dietary needs. This situation affects society, the economy, and environment as a whole. In addition, agricultural products meet our clothing, shelter, and energy needs. Agricultural illiteracy affects these systems in a similar fashion.

Electronic communication and dialog during an annual research meeting make a multistate research project for agricultural literacy completely feasible. Participation in the group will be opened to all researchers, nationwide, interested in agricultural literacy. The research conducted in various states and regions is easily shared electronically and readily available for meta-analyses. A wiki has already been set up to serve as a repository for related research and collaboration. There is no environmental limitation for this type of research. A multistate effort leverages the capacity of the individuals and institutions with on-the-ground local resources that can be easily networked and analyzed as a whole. The information, made available to stakeholders, informs programming done nationally to implement interventions to increase agricultural literacy.

The objectives in this proposal outline work for five years. Upon completion, stakeholders will have agricultural knowledge data, and several program initiatives will have been evaluated. These results are necessary as a baseline to initiate decision-making that “moves the needle” toward an agriculturally literate society. It is noted, however, that while this work can be done through a multistate effort over the next five years, a long-term approach, as identified by phases over the next 15-20 years, will be necessary to measure long-term impacts.

Related, Current and Previous Work

There has been a formal approach to agricultural literacy research for more than 15 years. During this period of time, several research projects have been conducted and published by members of the AES multistate agricultural literacy research committees (W1006, WERA207). The findings of previous work in this area support this proposals objectives to formalize an instrument and conduct research for generalization.

Since 2003 (two periods of performance by the AES Agricultural Literacy Research Committees W1006 and WERA207), there have been more than 300 published articles assessing agricultural literacy (Google Scholar, 2013). Several papers have been generated by members of this committee (Table 1, attached)). While these publications have made important contributions, there has been no concerted effort to develop instrument items or tools to assess agricultural literacy or program effectiveness. Doerfert (2003) published a descriptive study assessing 41 published articles evaluating research designs, populations, research variables, and instrument designs but did not evaluate statistical significance or the effect size of the cited research. There has been no attempt to conduct a meta-analysis of the literature results. This proposal would provide an opportunity for both types of investigation activities.

Specifically, this proposal seeks to develop instrumentation and conduct assessments nationwide to determine program effectiveness related to agricultural literacy outcomes (Spielmaker, 2013) or what have been termed previously as agricultural literacy standards and benchmarks (Leising, 1998). Nearly all research in the area of agricultural literacy uses the Food and Fiber Literacy framework (Leising, 1998), which includes standards and benchmarks by grade level. Previous research evaluating agricultural literacy has been developed on intervention criteria. There has been no systematic effort to evaluate agricultural literacy among populations or agricultural literacy programs. Trexler, Hess, and Hayes (2013) identify the need for empirically based evidence to determine whether or not the Food and Fiber Literacy Standards and Benchmarks were age- and/or developmentally-appropriate. The results of their constant comparative analysis suggested that the Leising standards and benchmarks were developed without an investigation into what learners of different ages understand about science and technology used in the agri-food systems (Trexler, Hess, & Hayes, 2013, p. 55).

Considering this research, and how teachers approach curriculum, Spielmaker (2013) evaluated the Leising standards and benchmarks and correlated them with national education standards in the subject areas of science, social studies (history, economics, geography), and health (nutrition) to create a National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix. The matrix uses national education standards (that have been developed by both content and pedagogical experts) to determine the appropriate schema for agricultural literacy outcomes. This current work supports this multistate research effort by validating outcomes (adapted from the work of Leising and other agricultural literacy frameworks) with the appropriate national education standards. These age- and developmentally-appropriate outcomes will assist in the development of instrumentation for preK-20 students. Post-secondary students may also be assessed to see if their agricultural understandings are at least congruent with what a 12th grade student should understand and be able to communicate.

The results of this research initiative will provide valuable findings for stakeholders and leaders in agricultural literacy to redirect or continue efforts toward agricultural literacy outcomes. These outcomes as defined in the Logic Model (National Agriculture in the Classroom, 2013) have been defined as changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills, behaviors, and practices, which will result in conditions where agricultural literacy efforts are considered effective in the following context:

* Agricultural policies positively impact the food, health, economy, environment, technology, and well-being of all.

* The needs of agriculture employers are met with a well-prepared, skilled, and flexible workforce.

* A diverse U.S. agricultural industry is an economic engine that is valued by all.

* Farmers provide, and consumers have access to, healthy and nutritious food choices.

* Youth and adult consumers are agriculturally literate, make informed decisions, and advocate for agriculture.

* The world has a secure, safe, and adequate food supply.

* The U.S. remains a [food secure] sovereign nation.

To address the need for agricultural literacy, we are requesting the development of a multistate research committee to build upon previous agricultural literacy research and address the stated outcomes of the National Agricultural Literacy Logic Model. The research agenda would be multifaceted and implemented in three phases over several years. This research proposal would seek findings on Phase 1 Objectives. Each phase would address specific research questions around the following objectives and, over time, build a substantial body of literature on agricultural literacy:

Phase I: Objectives
1. Assess agricultural knowledge
2. Assess attitudes and perceptions concerning agriculture
3. Evaluate existing agricultural literacy programs (identifying programs initiatives that relate to increases in agricultural literacy outlined in the Logic Model outcomes)

Phase II: Objectives
1. Develop new agricultural literacy programs or resources based on research findings
2. Continue to evaluate existing programs (identifying program initiatives that relate to increased agricultural literacy outlined in the Logic Model outcomes)

Phase III: Objective
1. Evaluate New Programs

Objectives

  1. Assess agricultural knowledge of diverse segments of the population: a) What are the points of acquisition of agricultural knowledge? b) What decisions are made based upon assessed knowledge?
  2. Assess attitudes and perceptions and motivations concerning agriculture of diverse segments of the population. a) How are perceptions, attitudes and motivations developed? b) What decisions are made based upon assessed attitudes, perceptions and motivations?
  3. Evaluate agricultural literacy programs to measure the program impact. a) What is effective programming? b) What is the impact of effective programming, both short-term and longitudinal? c) What knowledge, attitudes, and motivations exist for individuals that participate in agricultural literacy initiatives (formal programs, informal programs, voluntary programs)?

Methods

Quantitative and qualitative research methods will be used to accomplish each of the objectives listed above. Researchers involved in the project will determine the appropriate methods and statistical tools based on specific research questions, design, and population. This project will facilitate five specific protocols to meet the three objectives. The methods for each objective are as follows: 1. Agricultural knowledge (Objective 1) will be measured by criterion-referenced instruments. The instruments will examine both factual knowledge and higher order thinking ability in agriculture. Content of these questionnaires will be developed using the National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes (Spielmaker, 2014) which have been validated by experts composed of key stakeholders representing agricultural businesses, commodity organizations, public relations firms, government agencies, and educators both with traditional audiences and non-traditional agriculture stakeholders. Additional validation of items may include Delphi techniques to rank or evaluate the National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes (NALOs) with agricultural literacy curriculum in specific populations or context for research project under this objective. The topics of these instruments will vary in scope and size to replicate the complexity of agriculture and differences of agricultural knowledge across the nation. The agricultural knowledge instruments will be developed for targeted populations with consideration given to reading level, social factors, and locally relevant agricultural topics. These instruments will be adapted to various forms for data collection, such as paper questionnaires, online tools, as well as interview protocols. Populations to be assessed will be defined by factors such as age, education, geographic location, career area, population density, and affiliation or familiarity with agriculture. Two example protocols facilitated by this proposal in order to reach this targeted objective are: i. Individuals interested in assessing agriculture knowledge of various ages of K-12 students will use the newly developed NALOs as a guide to develop assessments across grade levels. These assessments should initially be utilized in five targeted states (representing different regions), with follow-up assessments on the population to be done in subsequent years to determine the longitudinal impacts of literacy initiatives over time. Dr. Debra Spielmaker, Utah State University; Monica Pastor, University of Arizona; and Denise Stewardson, Utah State University Extension; will lead this collaborative effort. ii. Researchers will focus on agricultural literacy knowledge beyond formal instructional years (K-12) and how this knowledge enables critical thinking in agriculture. This will be done by developing assessments related to agriculture knowledge and utilizing a validated critical thinking test to assess correlations between the two. Initially, this project will be piloted with 300 individuals above the 12th grade. Demographic data will be collected to determine the diversity of stakeholders. This pilot study will undergo formal annual evaluation by this multistate committee, revisions made, and subsequent administrations will be given in other areas across the country. Dr. Kellie Enns and Dr. Michael Martin, Colorado State University, will lead this collaborative proposal. The proposals will be drafted by members of the multistate groups at the annual meeting, and quarterly reports and milestone achievement of the proposals will be provided in conference call and/or electronic email distribution. Each member of the multistate group will be responsible for recruitment of the targeted populations and charged with collaborations with individuals who are diverse in expertise and educational goals (beyond the traditional stakeholder audience). 2. The perceptions, attitudes, and motivations of people about agriculture (Objective 2) will be measured by both quantitative instruments and qualitative approaches. The quantitative instruments include semantic differentials and Likert-type scale response choices. Items for these instruments will be developed through a thorough review of relevant literature and consultation with researchers in agricultural education and agricultural communications. Qualitative methods for this objective include interviews, document analysis, visual analysis, and focus groups. Both the qualitative and quantitative methods need to recognize that there are a multitude of different agricultural viewpoints and values in America. The goal of this research to is objectively describe how people perceive agriculture. i. A proposal that will be initiated by this multistate group to meet the targeted goal of this objective will be to determine perceptions of agriculture and then conduct a follow up survey to determine where and when perceptions of agriculture were developed and influenced over time. The strength of the perceptions will be ascertained by scaled survey instruments. Dr. Rob Terry and Dr. Robert Torres will lead this effort. ii. A second proposal facilitated by this multistate group will be to determine the level of engagement and motivation after an agricultural literacy intervention. Interventions may be formal, informal, or voluntary (seeking information at a point of purchase, for example). This proposal will seek to determine the specific motivations behind agriculture decisions; and secondly to determine what, if any, engagement with the information is initiated by the agricultural literacy intervention (i.e. subsequent educational initiatives, capacity building, legislative lobbying, etc.). Dr. Kellie Enns will lead this effort and engage Dr. Karen Cannon, University Nebraska-Lincoln; Gaea Wimmer-Hock, Mississippi State University; and Kathryn Stofer, University of Florida. The goal of this research will be to inform future research on best ways to communicate and educate individuals who hold differing perspectives to collectively influence community development through agriculture. Though this is beyond the scope of this five-year proposal, information gleaned from this proposal will guide subsequent research and programmatic efforts in agricultural literacy. 3. The evaluation of existing agricultural literacy programs (Objective 3) will require multifaceted methods. The programs which will be analyzed can include a variety of groups (e.g., Agriculture in the Classroom, or Seed to Table, or passive information from website and grocery stores) who have a variety of goals (e.g., instructional or curriculum development, advocacy). The groups which will be evaluated should be of a diverse nature—including rural, urban, and suburban—and should address differing topics in agriculture (e.g., sustainable farming and youth leadership). Evaluation strategies and methods will be developed uniquely with these groups in order to meet their specific needs and goals. The methods of evaluation will include quantitative analysis of benchmarks developed by each group. Further evaluation strategies could include qualitative and quantitative investigations of specific outcomes identified as significant by each group. i. In order to meet Objective 3 of this multistate research project, a proposal to evaluate at least 10 diverse (age, motivation, goals) agriculture literacy programs will be examined for characteristics of effective programming and impact of educational practices. Multistate participants and their unique stakeholder partners will collaborate to provide varied and diverse information. Similar populations without educational programming will also be examined to determine true impact. These 10 diverse programs should vary across the nation, and should be local or regional in focus. While the assessments of the individual programs will vary, standard assessment questions will be implemented across all programs to determine similar impacts across locations and programs. Data gleaned from these 10 programs will be analyzed collectively to provide for educational programming recommendations. This will be a collaborative effort led by Dr. Debra Spielmaker, Monica Pastor, and Dr. Cory Forbes, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Findings, conclusions, and recommendations from the first two objectives will also help provide the foundation for evaluating existing agricultural literacy programs. Evaluation of these programs will be a crucial component of the project. These findings will determine the effectiveness of programs to educate the public about agriculture. A wiki website will be created and maintained by Dr. Spielmaker as a repository for the multistate effort. This site will allow researchers to access commonly used instruments, tools, and data gathered under each project objective. The site will allow members to post and discuss various aspects of each research project.

Measurement of Progress and Results

Outputs

  • A primary outcome of this multistate project will be baseline data on agricultural knowledge possessed by the general population. This information will help educators design effective agricultural literacy programming and set benchmarks for achievable changes in knowledge. The data will also allow agricultural educators and practitioners to design programming to more accurately address misconceptions.
  • Another outcome of this multistate project will be baseline data on the general public’s perceptions, attitudes, and motivations for learning more about agriculture. Using valid instruments, this research will focus on diverse populations. Looking at diverse programs with similar assessment/evaluation surveys will allow the multistate research team to generalize suggestions regarding effective programming. The findings from these studies will assist educators in developing programming which can match the expectations and needs of the audiences. The results will also develop benchmarks which will allow researchers to evaluate changes in perception and behavior due to agricultural literacy programs.
  • The final deliverables of this multistate project are valid and reliable evaluation tools that may be used among existing agricultural literacy programs. These programs need to measure quantifiable growth in their participants’ agricultural literacy to determine specific benchmarks of program effectiveness. These data will assist in the development of effective program metrics that inform educational programs with data-driven decisions for more effective curriculum and delivery.

Outcomes or Projected Impacts

  • This multistate project and its subsequent proposal outcomes can guide and direct agricultural literacy programmatic goals. This can help stakeholders, regardless of program goals, to meet the needed demands. It can help determine areas of growth and development in agricultural literacy and help determine where and when the most impactful programs should and could occur. Until this time, agricultural literacy has been done from a programmatic outcomes approach; with this multistate project, true motivations and impacts of interventions related to agricultural literacy can be determined.

Milestones

(2019): Each member of the committee will select a specific research objective (Table 2) to pursue. This ongoing research process requires multiple efforts across a variety of institutions and states to accurately understand agricultural literacy nationwide. The research team will meet face-to-face annually to share findings and plan collaborative multistate research. Researchers will also “meet” via conference calls as needed or as described in Table 2. As a circular process, there will be ongoing and reoccurring research activities as described in the timeline, based on a five-year period of performance beginning October 2014.

Projected Participation

View Appendix E: Participation

Outreach Plan

The research conducted in this project will be distributed and published through a variety of outreach efforts. Specifically, research initiatives will be submitted and/or presented to various journals and conference settings where agricultural literacy is of interest.

Possible peer-reviewed publications include, but are not limited to:

* Journal of Agricultural Education

* North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal

* Journal of Extension

* Journal of Human Sciences and Extension

* Association for Career and Technical Education Research

* Journal of Career and Technical Education

Non-refereed, but peer-reviewed publications:

* The Agricultural Education Magazine

* National Science Teachers Association Magazines (Science & Children, Science Scope, Science Teacher, Journal of College Science Teaching)

* National Agriculture in the Classroom Research and Curriculum Matrix

Presentations (non-refereed, but peer-reviewed):

* Stakeholder presentations

* PreK-20 professional development workshops

* Post-secondary professional development

Conference presentations at the regional and national level for the following professional organizations:

* American Association for Agricultural Educators

* National Association of Agricultural Educators

* North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture

* National Agriculture in the Classroom

* Food, Land & People

Conference presentations at the regional and national levels for the following professional organizations:
• American Association for Agricultural Education
• National Association of Agricultural Educators
• National Extension Educators
• North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture
• National Agriculture in the Classroom
• Food, Land & People

Websites:

* National Agriculture in the Classroom (and each states website)

* National Center for Agricultural Literacy

Organization/Governance

The Multistate Agricultural Literacy Research Committee will use the standard form of committee governance as outlined in the Guidelines for Multistate Research Activities, with the exception of the secretary position; the secretary will serve a two-year term without moving into the chair-elect position. This multistate committee met previous to this proposal writing and elected officers as follows:

* Chair: Debra Spielmaker (Utah State University), two-year term. Responsible for organizing the meeting agenda, conducting the meeting, and assuring that task assignments are completed.

* Chair-elect: Kellie Enns (Colorado State University), two-year term. Supports the chair by carrying out duties assigned by the chair. The chair-elect serves as the chair in the absence of the elected chair.

* Secretary: Denise Stewardson (Utah State University), two-year term. Responsible for the distribution of documents prior to the meeting and for keeping records on decisions made at meetings (a.k.a. keeping the minutes).

The complete list of committee members is detailed in the NIMSS Appendix E. In addition to carrying out the agreed research collaboration, research coordination, information exchange, or advisory activities, project members are responsible for reporting progress, contributing to the ongoing progress of the activity, and communicating their accomplishments to the committees members and their respective employing institutions.

Literature Cited

Central Intelligence Agency. (2013). The World Fact Book: United States. The World Factbook. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html

Doerfert, D. L. (2011). National research agenda: American Association for Agricultural Educations research priority areas for 2011-2015. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University, Department of Agricultural Education and Communications.

Doerfert, D. L. (2003). Agricultural literacy: An assessment of research studies published within the agricultural education profession. In Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Western Region Agricultural Education Research Conference. Portland, OR. (Vol. 41).

Goecker, A. D., Smith, P. G., Smith, E., & Goetz, R. (2010). Employment opportunities for college graduates in food, renewable energy, and the environment: United States, 2010-2015. Retrieved from http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/USDA/employment/Pages/default.aspx

Leising, J. (1998). A guide to food and fiber systems literacy. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK.

National Agriculture in the Classroom. (2013). About Agriculture in the Classroom - Agricultural Literacy. Retrieved from http://www.agclassroom.org/about/literacy.htm

National Research Council. (1988). Understanding agriculture: New directions for education. National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED338795

Spielmaker, D. M. (2013). National agricultural literacy curriculum matrix. Retrieved from http://agclassroom.org/teacher/matrix/

Trexler, C. J., Hess, A. J., & Hayes, K. N. (2013) Urban elementary students conceptions of learning goals for agricultural science and technology. Retrieved from https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/nse/abstracts/42/1/49

Attachments

Land Grant Participating States/Institutions

AZ, CA, CO, FL, HI, IA, KS, MT, NC, NE, OR, UT

Non Land Grant Participating States/Institutions

Murray State University
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