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  • Author or Editor: Carly Gillett x
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Agriculture is fundamental to meeting Americans’ basic needs—clothing, housing, and food. As the average farmer’s age increases, there is a need to develop programs to encourage youth to pursue careers in agriculture and become the next generation of farmers. This study developed and implemented a horticultural curriculum focusing on vegetable production at a summer camp setting. Targeted participants were aged 9 to 12 years. Pre- and posttests were given to both the treatment group (campers participating in the victory garden track) and the control group (campers participating in a Wetlands track). The pre- and posttest evaluated campers’ science-based knowledge and confidence. The study was replicated 16 times (weeks) over a 2-year study. Lesson topics included propagation, victory gardens, soil, recycling, plant parts, pollination, photosynthesis, and insects. Campers in the treatment group had improvement of general horticulture knowledge from pretest to posttest responses 18% improvement in 2010 and 11% improvement in 2011. Posttest scores of treatment campers were greater 20% in 2010 and 16% greater in 2011 (P ≤ 0.05) than control campers in both years of the study. Treatment campers were more confident (P ≤ 0.05) in explaining to others how to grow a plant and in their ability to grow more than one type of plant. Analysis of the 2nd year of data-indicated treatment campers were more likely (P ≤ 0.05) to feel confident in their ability to plant a seed that would later grow into a plant.

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