Pa. unveils new ag education initiative

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – A Pennsylvania initiative aims at teaching every school-age student about the impact of agriculture on daily life.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s new agricultural education initiative was unveiled July 8 at the Pennsylvania Association of Agriculture Educators Summer Convention in Doylestown, Pa.

“With less then two percent of Americans engaged in farming today, each generation is becoming further removed from agriculture,” Wolff said.

“I am pleased to unveil our new agriculture education initiative. This multi-faceted initiative is designed to enhance awareness of school-aged children about the importance of agriculture for the economy, community and life.”

Key is starting early. Wolff added the key to agricultural education is starting early, so that future generations of agriculturists are not hampered by the policies of the uninformed.

The following list includes highlights of PDA’s Ag Education Initiative:

* K-12 Ag Ed Project – Provides a credible and impartial resource for teaching agricultural topics. This program will stress the importance of agriculture within Pennsylvania and the United States.

Ag curriculum will be based on a series of modules utilizing videos, technology, and other course materials.

* Agricultural Education Advisory Board – As a part of the department of agriculture, the board will function to advise, guide and recommend new initiatives in agriculture education to the department.

* Agricultural Education Resource Library – The department will create an interactive, web-based agricultural education resource library of curriculum, teaching materials, and ag facts for all teachers and citizens.

Work with society. * Agricultural Education Coordinator – The department will hire a coordinator to work with educational institutions, agricultural education teachers, school districts, government officials and others to get agriculture into the classroom and raise the awareness of agriculture in society.

* FFA – In recognition of the contributions of our young leaders, the department will continue to support the Pennsylvania FFA Association and the FFA Foundation with approximately $144,000 in funding.

* Agriculture and Rural Youth Program – Continue to provide grant funding for both vocational agriculture programs and 4-H clubs to advance educational projects at the school and county level.

* Ag Awareness Foundation – The department will continue to work in partnering with the foundation to support the Agriculture in the Classroom initiative for teachers.

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