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Agriculture Education Is Coming To More Local Schools

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More schools are adding agriculture education in their classrooms. On Monday, Senator Fred Akshar announced an expansion of the "Ag in the Classroom" program, bringing the total number of schools participating up to 10.

Earlier this year, five schools signed on to the pilot program to teach their students more about agriculture and the different job opportunities ranging from food production to business and engineering. Those original five schools are Union-Endicott, Maine-Endwell, Windsor, Owego-Apalachin, and Harpursville. Joining those first five schools is the next wave; Deposit, Greene, Chenango Valley, Bainbridge-Guilford, and Tioga Central.

"There's a lot of opportunities in agriculture, I think it's the highest number of available jobs out there," says Corey Green, Superintendent of Owego-Apalachin schools.

Students at Owego-Apalchin Middle School show Senator Akshar the aquaponics project they're working on.

Teachers from Cornell Cooperative Extension visit the participating schools to provide lessons in agriculture. Windsor Schools Superintendent Jason Andrews says this is an area of education that's been neglected and it's up to schools to provide a well-rounded education to prepare students for whatever it is they want to do for a career.

"No matter what their career path is, to be successful in life, if we start to build that pipeline at an early age," says Andrews.

In addition to Monday's announcement, both Owego-Apalachin and Windsor school districts will be receiving $350,000 in state funds to expand their already existing agriculture education programs.