Agriculture Education | Teaching More Than Farming

OUTdrive Episode 124 with Keith Dietzschold

OUTdrive Episode 124 with Keith Dietzschold

Did you know that Missouri youth involved in agriculture education courses directly contribute to the state’s economy? In 2021 alone, Missouri FFA students generated over $58 million dollars of income through their supervised agriculture experience and work-based programs. And, those work experiences are not just farming-based, they are in business, tourism, science, and even marketing. In this episode, Keith Dietzschold outlines the incredible opportunities that ag education programs bring to our high school students and the importance of agriculture literacy in today’s world.

Keith is the Director of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and he serves as the State FFA Advisor. In these roles, Keith oversees Missouri’s agricultural education program, including the state’s FFA chapters and all its members. Known to many of his former students as “Mr. D,” Keith spent 25 years as an Ag teacher between Chillicothe, Cameron and Lathrop school districts, and was named Teacher of the Year by the Missouri Vocational Association in 1997. He holds a degree in animal science from the University of Missouri and earned his master’s in education with an agriculture education emphasis.

Tune in to learn more about the state’s agriculture education program and the life lessons Missouri FFA instills in thousands of young agriculturalists every year.


  • 2:20 – Keith’s background and how he got to where he is today with the Missouri Department of Education
  • 5:30 – The primary focus of Keith’s department of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • 9:30 – Details behind the Missouri FFA education program across the state
  • 12:00 – Misconceptions about the FFA program and how Keith is striving to educate Missourians about all the other pieces of agriculture outside of farming
  • 17:30 – Keith outlines the other organizations, outside of FFA, involved in ag education in the state of Missouri, from junior high students to young adults
  • 22:45 – Where people can find more information about Missouri Ag Education
  • 24:45 – Key takeaways from the 2022 Annual Report
  • 28:15 – The role the State of Missouri Ag education has at the Missouri State Fair
  • 32:45 – Keith describes the types of life lessons youth learn while involved in FFA programs, primarily agriculture literacy and comprehension
  • 35:00 – What strategies Missouri Ag Education and FFA are using to tell their story and to reach students
  • 38:30 – Keith’s closing thoughts on helping move Missouri’s agriculture industry forward