Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Agriculture, food, and natural resource education provides students with opportunities for leadership, personal growth and career success. Instruction is delivered through:

  1. Classroom/laboratory instruction (contextual learning).
  2. Supervised agricultural experience programs (work-based learning).
  3. Student leadership organizations (national FFA organization).

Agricultural Education programs are preparing the next generation of problem-solvers, leaders, and agriculturalists through relevant, engaging curriculum and real-life experiences. It includes the science, business, and technology of plant and animal production and may include environmental and natural resources systems. 

Work involves planning, managing, performing tasks and conserving resources in these areas: 

  • Agricultural production, plant and landscaping services, and related professional and technical services.
  • Mining and extraction operations.
  • Natural resources, environmental services.
  • Agribusiness and related technical systems.

Did you know:  

  • Minnesota’s agricultural industry is the second largest employer and economic sector in Minnesota.
  • Every agricultural production job supports an additional 1.5 jobs in all economic sectors.  
  • More than 80 percent of all agriculture jobs are off the farm.    
  • From 2010-2015, the U.S. economy generated 54,400 agriculture-related jobs for students with baccalaureate or higher degrees in food, renewable energy, and environmental specialties. Only 53,500 graduates will be available to fill these positions.
  • Today, less than 2 percent of the U.S. population is engaged in production agriculture, providing food for the entire world. The world population is expected to double by 2050, and the same amount of land used today will need to supply food for this growing number of people. 

Minnesota Career Technical Education Resources

Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Frameworks

The agriculture, food and natural resources (AFNR) Career Cluster Content Standards provide agricultural educators with a high-quality, rigorous set of standards to guide what students should know and be able to do after completing a program of study in each of the AFNR career pathways. Strong, relevant AFNR Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs that are informed by industry and education stakeholders are one way we can meet workforce needs now and in the future.

Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Frameworks Introduction
Agriculture Business Systems Pathway
Animal Systems Pathway
Biotechnology Systems Pathway
Food Products and Processing Systems Pathway
Natural Resource and Environmental Service Systems Pathway
Plant Systems Pathway
Power, Structural and Technical Systems Pathway


Minnesota Future Farmers of America (FFA) Association
 is a state student leadership organization supporting Agriculture programs.

Minnesota FFA on Facebook
Minnesota FFA Association Blog

Minnesota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MNACTE) is a professional organization for CTE teachers/leaders offering state and national support, training and resources.

Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)—Data Center is a useful website for teachers and business/industry professionals to stay current on regional labor market needs and employment trends that can impact CTE programs.