A new industry-recognized credentialing system will verify Ohio high school students’ expertise in specific areas of agriculture as they work toward their diplomas.
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association has announced it will provide qualifying secondary students an approved, industry-recognized credential. Once approved by the Ohio Department of Education, this credential may be paired with a workforce readiness score through WorkKeys, a job skills assessment system measuring real-world skills, as a pathway to graduation for high school students.
The new program will verify students’ expertise in the areas of agriculture, agribusiness and production systems.
“As part of our efforts to meet future workforce demands in agribusiness, we are excited about the opportunities this new program provides for students pursuing agricultural careers,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “OABA is proud to support students enrolled in agricultural education and FFA chapters across the state.”
To be eligible for the program, a student must be enrolled in a career-technical agricultural program and complete three of the following courses, where they are engaged in learning and applying technical skills in foundational agricultural concepts:
- Agriculture, food and natural resources
- Animal and plant science
- Agronomic systems
- Mechanical principles
- Livestock selection, nutrition and management.
Students are also required to complete a course in business management for agricultural and environmental systems or global economics and marketing of food. These upper-level courses test students’ knowledge of global agriculture marketing and business principles applied in agribusiness.
Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE) — students’ out-of-school agriculture projects — are also integral in attaining the new OABA credential. To be considered, a student’s SAE must be an entrepreneurial, placement, or research-driven project pertaining to the agriculture industry. The student must document at least 500 hours of work on their project and identify the Ohio Agricultural and Environmental Systems Career Field Technical Content Standards achieved through their SAE.