An understanding of international agriculture is critically important to every one who works in the agriculture sector. A high degree of knowledge is requisite for future workers in the agriculture sector and a thorough understanding of world agricultural issues is no less important to those who seek careers in agriculture (Wood and Rosati, 1990). The need for an awareness of the global nature of the agricultural industry has become one of the major needs of our time. It has become increasingly apparent that if a person is to be considered educated in agriculture, he/she must be cognizant of the interrelationships of various agricultural systems and governments, cultures and societies in which they function. No longer it is sufficient to know how to produce food and fiber and conduct or manage the many tasks in today's agricultural industry (Martin, 1989).
The cognitive information concerning the international agricultural technologies that farmers possess has not been widely investigated. Nor has the literature revealed any studies concerning the relative understanding of these issues . In a study of educational programs for young and adult farmers, Martin and Bia (1986) found that while there was a general recognition for the need to help young farmers, they did not find a single study regarding the role of international agriculture in agricultural development and education in Iowa. Since
young farmers are an important part of the agricultural community, their perceptions toward the role of international agriculture must be identified. These perceptions can be assessed through the current agricultural education programs being offered to young and adult farmers in Iowa. It was with these concerns in mind that this study was conducted. This study could serve as a basis for revision of present agricultural education programs and could provide a basis for the development of new educational programs in international agriculture at secondary and post-secondary educational institutions.