Engaging youth at school to advance sustainable agriculture and inspire future farming: evidence from Cambodia

Ghaida S. Alrawashdeh, Samantha Lindgren, Manuel Reyes, Sar Pisey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine rural school students’ perception of a career in farming following their participation in educational farming activities. Design/Methodology/Approach: We hypothesized that engagement with innovative educational farming activities can influence young people’s aspirations for a career in farming and that this relationship is mediated by relatedness to the local environment, and agriculture’s perceived impact. A survey instrument was administered, and mediation was examined using path analysis. Findings: Significant direct and indirect effects were observed indicating that engagement with educational agricultural activities significantly influences students’ relatedness to their local environment, and their perceptions toward agriculture’s impact on their local community, which in turn has a positive effect on their attitudes toward a career in farming. Theoretical Implication: The results of this study point to the generalizability of Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) across contexts and provide empirical support for its suitability in analyzing different approaches to attract and retain youth in the agriculture sector in Cambodia. Practical Implication: The results highlight the benefits of providing contextually-appropriate educational programs that are designed to reframe agriculture as innovative, profitable, and interesting to encourage youth to consider a future career in the sector. Originality/Value: The findings can guide future training agendas and agricultural educational programs to be more efficient in attracting and retaining youth in the sector by incorporating contextually-appropriate educational topics that highlight agriculture’s impact and strengthen youth relatedness to their local environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-556
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Agricultural Education and Extension
Issue number5
Early online dateSep 1 2022
StatePublished - 2023


  • Agricultural education
  • innovation
  • path analysis
  • Social Cognitive Career Theory
  • sustainable agriculture
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Education
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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