CAMs Ag Academy-On the Road: Agricultural Literacy Internship

College of Agricultural Sciences

Dept of Ag and Resource Economics



(El Paso, Moffat, Rio Blanco)

Primary Topic:

Food and Agriculture

Other Topics:

Economic and Community Development, Health and Well-Being, Youth and Family Development

Lead Mentor:  

Jenny Bennett

Agricultural Literacy Instructor

Internship Overview:

CAMs Ag Academy on the Road Ag Literacy Internship seeks to develop the next generation of agriculturally literate individuals and agriculture professionals by providing non-formal agricultural education opportunities in local communities. This proposal is requesting four interns to participate in this summers internship program.

Individuals within this internship program will have the opportunity to work closely with CSU and county stakeholders invested in youth development for 4-H and FFA, accessible education, and agricultural literacy, as well as engaging in experiential learning to develop impactful agriculture-focused educational experiences for youth at county fairs across the State.
This internship program promotes youth development in two ways; First, the agriculture-focused activities will foster youth development of agricultural literacy. Second, CAM’s Ag Academy will provide the opportunity for youth to engage in non-formal agricultural education experiences meaningfully as peer educators and to increase leadership, and communications skills, motivation, interest, and agriculture-related knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs to promote agricultural career aspirations.

The student interns will also have the opportunity to conduct robust program evaluation throughout the summer. Using qualitative and quantitative data obtained before, during, and after each agricultural literacy experience, the intern will also closely examine the effectiveness of agricultural literacy curriculum, and the effectiveness of agricultural literacy programming.

Interns will primarily be stationed on campus in Fort Collins, with travel to various counties throughout the State to provide the developed CAMs Ag Academy on the Road programming to Colorado communities. This proposal is requesting four interns to be able to provide CAMs Ag Academy programming on a state wide level throughout the summer. These programs are intensive investments, with overlapping dates in some circumstances, therefore it is necessary to have four students to accomplish the program goals and to make a significant statewide impact.

Goals, Scope and Objectives:

This internship aims to develop the next generation of agriculturally literate individuals and agriculture professionals by providing non-formal agricultural education opportunities in local communities.

The scope of this internship is to allow interns to engage meaningfully with diverse Colorado communities to improve the agricultural literacy of Coloradoan’s and increase youth engagement in agricultural literacy outreach. This work will include the following:
-Working with diverse individuals of varied backgrounds and ages
-Operating as a team to accomplish a common goal
-Event planning execution, and evaluation
-Development of professional communication, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills
-Development of effective non-formal agriculture teaching strategies

A successful candidate will be a student within the College of Agricultural Sciences that has an interest in one or more of the following areas:
-Youth development
-Agricultural literacy
-Non-formal/ community education
-Agricultural Education

The objectives of this internship include the following:
-To develop and facilitate meaningful community-centered agricultural literacy programming at partnering county fairs throughout the State to
Improve youth’s knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes related to the agricultural system to increase agricultural literacy .
-Increase youth engagement in agricultural literacy outreach to promote the development of the next generation of the agricultural workforce and agriculturally literate consumers.
-To evaluate the effectiveness of the agricultural literacy program regarding the objectives listed above.

With which stakeholder group(s) will the intern work?

The internship will involve collaborating with diverse individuals across the state of Colorado. These individuals include School-aged youth (K-12), local Extension personnel, CSU Agricultural Education faculty, youth agriculture organizations (4-H and FFA), local fair board and fair community stakeholders associated with the county fair, and county fairs. Local Agricultural fairs and shows are a staple in most rural, urban, and suburban communities. Each carries its traditions, making them unique and a significant attraction within its community. Events such as these can draw individuals from agricultural and nonagricultural backgrounds. For some, agricultural fairs and shows may be the only time that they will have the opportunity to engage with agriculture. For these reasons, the agricultural fair and show spaces are ideal partners for agricultural literacy programs and will serve as the platform for the CAMs Ag Academy Ag Literacy programming.

What student learning outcomes do you anticipate and what are the opportunities for professional development?

By the end of this internship, individuals will be able to….
-Describe knowledge of diverse Colorado communities and relevant community issues.
-Develop effective and efficient community-centered educational programming
-Create relevant and reliable agricultural content for educational programs
-Facilitate educational experiences as a non-formal educator that can connect with individuals across diverse backgrounds and ages
-Demonstrate the ability to conduct action research to promote transformative change in agricultural literacy programming
-Effectively mentor youth in agricultural literacy outreach as peer educators
-Effectively mentor youth to develop leadership and communication skills
-Communicate accurate agricultural concepts to diverse individuals
-Collect, analyze, and utilize programming information to answer vital questions about community program effectiveness and efficiency.
-Demonstrate the ability to problem solve and critically think related to program (event) development, facilitation, and evaluation
-Demonstrate teamwork and practical project management skills.

This internship provides diverse experiences for individuals to engage in professional development opportunities and demonstrate competencies closely related to professionalism. Examples of these opportunities include:
-CAM’s Ag Academy Peer Educator Training program
-Engagement with current county Extension staff and county stakeholders to program plan and engage in community-relevant dialogue on behalf of CAMs Ag Academy
-Engagement with youth from youth agricultural organizations such as 4-H and FFA in a mentorship role
-Facilitation of agricultural literacy programming on behalf of Colorado State University
-Presentation of program findings to county Extension mentor
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