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3 Plenary Presentations
Pages 4-8

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From page 4...
... Another lies in changing the outdated image of agriculture as "cornfields, blue jeans, and tractors" to reflect the exciting, innovative nature of the modern agriculture industry, in which workers are engaged in endeavors such as developing drone technology, creating nanoparticles from wood, and using high-tech scanners to analyze nutritional content. Bartuska drew attention to the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative's Education and Workforce Development Program,1 which works to address these workforce problems by promoting STEM education in food and agriculture.
From page 5...
... In a brief Q&A session, Leshner discussed specific challenges related to attracting women and younger people to the field. Participants also considered the role of scientific societies; Leshner suggested one valuable role for societies could be to increase awareness of the outcomes expected from investments in agriculture research as a way to indirectly advocate for increased funding.
From page 6...
... Pointing to the low numbers of graduate students in plant breeding as an example, Handelsman explained that a shortage in graduate students can lead to fewer plant breeding programs and eventually fewer faculty members to train future generations. Training grants offer a viable way to improve the incentives in agriculture education, she said, adding that new types of training grants could help address new integrative science needs.
From page 7...
...  A diversity gap in higher education. An analysis by AgCareers.com3 found that enrollment in agriculture-related areas at 4-year institutions between 2010 and 2012 included just 7 percent Hispanic students, 5 per cent African American students, and 4 percent Asian students.
From page 8...
... To help ensure that educational experiences translate into viable career paths, Patrick suggested implementing curricula based on competencies defined by industry to ensure that students gain the skills that employers seek. Finally, to increase diversity in the workforce Patrick suggested that diversity programming should be expanded into middle and high schools with a focus on providing minority students with the support structure, skills, and rigor to succeed in college.

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