Fifteen year enrollment trends related to the three components of comprehensive agricultural education programs
The purpose of this study was to identify the agricultural education enrollment trends in Iowa using 15 years of data collected from 1991 to 2005. It was found that agricultural education enrollment, Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) participation, and FFA membership have grown. Using annualized growth rates, agricultural education enrollment (4.06%) grew more rapidly than SAE participation (1.65%) and FFA membership (2.39%). Although growth was realized in all three components, the widening gap between students who only enroll in agricultural education and those who also choose to participate in SAE and FFA is a concern. Increased female participation, 31.96% in 2005, accounted for much of the overall growth in total enrollment. SAE growth was attributed to increased participation in agriscience and agribusiness. The findings have implications for the profession’s ability to put into practice experiential learning theory, the philosophical approach of agricultural education, local program development and management, and the future of agricultural education.