Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Plant and Soil Science


Seburn L. Pense


Understanding of agricultural systems has been an accepted and necessary aspect of a child’s education for centuries. Conventional agricultural education has proven effective in creating well-trained agricultural professionals and scholars, but has had the unintentional effect of limiting access to agricultural concepts to the non-agricultural student. This effect has potentially negative cultural consequences considering the importance agricultural issues. In response, agricultural educators have carried out an initiative to promote agricultural literacy in the classroom through an integration of agricultural concepts into core curriculum. A Guide to Food and Fiber Systems Literacy Benchmarks (Leising, 1998) is an example of programs that assess students’ level of agricultural literacy. However, integration of agricultural concepts into core curriculum without undermining state required standards is considered a primary obstacle in reaching goals in agricultural literacy. This research article uses the conceptual model proposed by Agnew, Powell, & Trexler (2008) which promotes a clarified vision for joining the differing educational paradigms. In particular, this article uses the method of exploring intersections in food and fiber systems literacy benchmarks with Illinois State Board of Education performance indicators in order to construct simple and comprehensive lesson units that meet both sets of educational standards.