Students throughout Indiana are about to start up another year of learning. With many schools now using a balanced calendar, kids are going back to classes sooner than ever.

Many classes begin this week. This is my first year not going back to school, and I can honestly say I’m going to miss it.

Most people are relieved when they finish school. I, however, am one of those nerds that never can get enough school.

I’ve always loved classes — from back-to-school shopping to meeting my new professors and peers and, of course, learning lots of new things. I keep finding myself checking out the back-to-school aisles at the grocery store and wishing I could be one of the students getting ready for classes.

I think the transition from being a full-time student to a full-time writer has gone very smoothly, but I always will miss being a student. Although, in life, we never stop learning.

This time of year always reminds me of how important a good education is. Both rural and urban communities need good schools to teach the next generation about literature, science, history and math.

Agricultural education is something my school never offered. We had no FFA program, no agriculture classes.

I learned everything I know about agriculture from raising Boer goats and helping out with sheep. My education at Purdue University furthered my ag knowledge.

Many of the peers I went to high school with are completely clueless about important agricultural topics — the difference between organic and non-organic food, the technology involved on farms and the economic value of ag to Indiana.

It’s hard for people to make informed decisions, as voters and information sharers, when their education involved very little information about agriculture, particularly in upper-level classes, middle through high school levels.

I’m not saying that every school district needs an FFA program. But I do think it would be beneficial to offer an ag class or two.

In a world where art and music classes are under-funded, there probably is little push for more agriculture-related classes. But if students could just learn a little bit more about agriculture, even as part of another science class, I think they would be better able to understand a lot of things.

As students get ready for another year of classes and learning, I wish Indiana families all the best. Enjoy every early-morning bus roundup and homework problem you can.

I know it’s not always easy, but the education you take home at the end of the day is well worth the hard work and sacrifices.