College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences
Agricultural Education and Communication Department
BS in Agricultural Science
Agriculture can be seen as the world’s most essential industry. Many products people use daily come directly from agriculture, including the food placed on people’s tables. Knowing where that food comes from, and the overall importance of agricultural education is vital in the United States and the world. This message needs to be shared beyond the classroom: we need agriculture to survive.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “in 2012, there were 3.2 million farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers and an estimated 757,900 agricultural workers legally employed in the U.S.” (USDA, 2012). These findings concluded that less than 2% of the United States population has a direct and vital understanding of the importance of agriculture. Most of the general population has little to no understanding of what really happens on farms (Diesburg, 2016). Agriculture is viewed as being stuck in the past, but in reality, agriculture is at the forefront of modern technology. Additionally, lack of agricultural knowledge tends to cause people to turn away from farming, a feeling increased by misinformation in the media. Considering people no longer understand the process of farming, they have begun to fear it (Protect The Harvest, 2015).
This project will help share how the agriculture industry is part of daily lives by targeting the students on California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo’s campus. This project will model how hosting “The Farmer’s Picnic” can address the importance of agriculture from the inside out.
Cal Poly’s motto, Learn By Doing, is showcased through its agricultural programs and courses, meaning there is great opportunity to utilize the resources available on campus to better educate students. This senior project is designed to educate the student body on the impacts of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) in their everyday lives. The Farmer’s Picnic will work in collaboration with the CAFES Student Council, whose members are representatives from each club in the CAFES and meet weekly to discuss business within the college. Utilizing the CAFES Student Council, the Farmer’s Picnic will encompass every sector of agriculture and educate students about the bigger picture of agriculture. Through industry focused education, the CAFES Student Council will work hand in hand with multiple student-run organizations to connect taste, touch, visual and auditory education of agriculture.