Russell Redding, the secretary of agriculture for Pennsylvania, announced prizes totaling $1.5 million for educational initiatives in agriculture. Grants totaling about $536,000 were given out to enhance pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students’ access to wholesome, regional foods and to expand their opportunity to learn about agriculture. Hundreds of farm-to-school programs and ag and youth programs have received over $4 million in funding from Governor Tom Wolf since 2019 to sustain and expand them. The West Perry School District received $11,837 in funding this round to advance its fourth-grade curriculum. The West Perry initiative aims to introduce kids to local farms and teach agricultural science subjects. More than 1.5 million kids have learned about the potential of agriculture since this program start over 20 years ago.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding presented a $1.5 million check to schools and ag education initiatives as part of the PA Farm Bill 2022–23 Farm to School and Agriculture and Youth Grant Programs today at the PA Farms to Families Immersion Lab at the PA Farm Show.
“Young people are the future of agriculture in Pennsylvania, and their instructors, programs, field trips, and access to fresh foods shape their relationship and understanding of agriculture,” added Redding. By introducing kids to agricultural education, this $1.5 million will pique their interest in farming and provide access to wholesome foods.
Ag and Youth awards of about $1 million were given to youth groups to support growth in the fields of agriculture, community leadership, career preparation, and peer support. Farm to School scholarships worth around $536,000 were given out to kids in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade in order to expand their access to wholesome, local meals and the possibilities for them to learn about agriculture.
According to the grant recipient, Charlene Espenshade, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation, “This grant will assist the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture in replacing one of our Mobile Ag Ed Science Lab Trailers. This award maintains this program affordable for schools all around the state by lowering our administrative costs. More than 1.5 million kids have learned about the importance of agriculture in daily life since the program’s launch over 20 years ago.”
To discover the complete list of recipients, click here.
Image provided by PA media Service