AMES, Iowa -- The future of agricultural education in Iowa will be discussed beginning at 6:30 p.m. Feb 16 at a public hearing broadcast on the Iowa Communications Network from Iowa State University.

The Governor's Council on Agricultural Education is conducting the public hearing, titled "Creating Life-changing Opportunities Through Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource Education," to seek ideas for expanding agricultural education in Iowa. There are 242 agricultural education secondary school programs offered out of the state's 370 school districts.

Robert Martin, chair of the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies at Iowa State and member of the Governor's Council on Agricultural Education, is helping to coordinate the public hearing.

Public hearing organizers invite individuals interested in agriculture and education including students, parents, school administrators, advisory groups, educators, agribusiness people, entrepreneurs and farmers.

Participants will be asked to discuss topics and suggestions to improve agricultural education in Iowa, including: should all students learn about agriculture, food and natural resources; what would it take to expand those programs; what should the plan be to expand agricultural education; and how can these programs enhance leadership and career development for students.

The discussions will be at Iowa Communications Network locations in Albert City, Algona, Ankeny, Calmar, Carroll, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Creston, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Gilbert, Johnston, Marshalltown, Mason City, Muscatine, Ottumwa, Sheldon, Shenandoah, Sioux City and West Burlington.

SOURCE: Iowa State University news release.