AEST: Meeting the Employment Demands for the Agriculture Community

AESTThe Florida Farm Bureau Agricultural Certification program, or AEST, prepares students and employees for both careers and advancement in agricultural disciplines. The certification program offers two levels of certification–an associate level and a specialist level.

The associate level one demonstrates basic knowledge of agriculture and requires student to pass a 50-question exam covering the broad areas of agriculture, food, fiber and natural resource systems. The exam has recently been approved by the Florida Department of Education and will be available to middle and high school students in the 2017-18 school year.

The specialist level validates the skill level in specialized agricultural fields: Biotechnology, Communications, Mechanics, Agritechnology, Animal Science, Forestry and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

Recipients of these certifications have proven that they possess competence and the in-demand workforce skills needed within these specialized fields. Certification exams were created by agriculturists who know what skills and knowledge are necessary to be a valuable employee within each sector.

The AEST program has certified 2,101 individuals throughout Florida this year alone and is gaining momentum in other states. Louisiana is already assessing students and will be providing agricultural credentials.

AEST is a managed by the Florida Farm Bureau and the Florida FFA Association. To begin assessing your employees or find out more about the program, contact Keitha Bennett at 352.275.8675.