The first agricultural education strategic plan was created
in 1989 as an outcome of a National Summit on Agricultural Education conducted in
Washington, DC. This plan was promoted as being developed by representatives of the total
agricultural education community. During 1994-95, leaders of agricultural education again
focused their energies on strategic planning at another Washington, DC meeting. They met
as the Vision 2000 Task Force and developed the second strategic plan for agricultural
education. The strategy of Vision 2000 was "to build upon the first strategic
plan." Major attention was given to revising the mission statement and considering
initiatives for implementation of the 1989 plan. The first two strategic plans were
developed with input solely from the "agricultural education leadership." Little
effort was made to secure the support of those outside the leadership circles.
The third strategic plan is an outcome of the Reinventing Agricultural Education for
the Year 2020 Project (RAE 2020). It should be noted that all three plans have common
elements. For example, all three include goals for: 1) continually improving and expanding
agricultural education, 2) meeting the diverse needs of learners, 3) providing education
about agriculture for all people and 4) building partnerships to generate the resources
for achieving excellence in agricultural education. However, a major difference between
the RAE 2020 effort and the first two is that over 10,000 individuals participated in
nationwide meetings and provided input into the vision, mission and goals that are now
part of the third National Strategic Plan and Action Agenda for Agricultural Education.
Common themes surfaced nationwide from this broad base of diverse stakeholders are
included in the new national plan.
Another difference is that RAE 2020 produced tools for local, state and regional groups
to develop their own vision, mission and goals for agricultural education. A
Community-based Program Planning Manual was developed for guiding these groups in
developing their plans and action agendas for ensuring the preferred future for
agricultural education at any level. Also during 1996, agricultural education developed
another tool to help deliver high quality agricultural education called "A Guide to
Local Program Success."
The Vision 2000 participants realized that a major weakness of the first strategic plan
was the implementation component and they developed some action steps to try to address
this problem. However, as we reach the midpoint of year 2000, the issue of who will
"make it happen" still exists. The question today, is how can agricultural
education achieve its major goals? A major step toward implementing our goals is
broadening the support base from only the national leadership to a diverse group of
stakeholders at all levelslocal, state, regional and national.
To achieve success in implementing our third strategic plan, we must view agricultural
education as a team effort that requires every player (stakeholder) to contribute to a
winning agenda. Team Ag*Ed is a concept developed by the Agricultural Education National
Headquarters to help ensure a diverse group of agricultural education stakeholders achieve
excellence in preparing students for personal growth and career success through
agricultural education. Every professional agricultural educator should be actively
involved in recruiting a broad and diverse agricultural education team to help create the
preferred future for agricultural education. They should also be prepared to lead their
team in implementing the goals and plans they develop.
The Council has called a National Summit on Agricultural Education for February 8-10,
2001. At the Summit, local and state ag ed leaders will share best practices and successes
that have resulted from RAE 2020. The Summit will also help state and national leaders
become more effective in leading Team Ag*Ed.
Today we have the tools to become highly proactive in creating our preferred future.
The Guide to Local Program Success and the Community-based Program Planning Guide provide
the framework, proven strategies and best practices for planning, goal setting and
implementing the outcomes of our planning efforts. These are powerful tools for mobilizing
a local community, region, state, or nation and creating synergistic support for
agricultural education at all levels. Successfully implementing the "Team Ag*Ed
Concept" provides our best hope for creating a successful future for agricultural