Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

The Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resource (AFNR) Career Cluster provides students with opportunities for leadership, personal growth and career success. Instruction is delivered through:

  1. Classroom/laboratory instruction (rigorous contextual learning; academic skills).
  2. Supervised agricultural experience programs (relevant work-based learning; technical skills).
  3. FFA or student leadership activities (relationship development through a Career and Technical Student Organization; social/leadership skills).

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 environmental and natural resources systems management. 

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 and 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 (FFA) Association
 is an intracurricular state student leadership organization offered as a component of Agriculture programs. 

Minnesota FFA on Facebook
Minnesota FFA Association Blog


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.