Begin Main Content Area

 PA.Media.BreadCrumbs - MediaBreadCrumbs

Media > Agriculture > Details

Shapiro Administration Hosts 1,300 PA Elementary Students for Hands-On Agriculture Career Exploration at Farm Show Complex


Governor Josh Shapiro's historic 2023-24 budget feeds hungry minds and expands opportunities for careers in Pennsylvania's world-class agriculture industry.

Harrisburg, PA – The Shapiro Administration welcomed 1,300 area elementary school students from nine counties to the PA Farm Show Complex today and Wednesday for hands-on agriculture career exploration during PA Farm City Day. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding toured career exhibits with Department of Education's Bureau of Career and Technical Education Director Judd Pittman, Special Assistant Rob Steinmetz, and Special Consultant for Career Readiness Laura Fridirici joining students who were learning firsthand about careers ranging from dairy farming and beekeeping to sustainable forestry and drone-assisted crop management.

"We saw students get excited to see where the products they wear and use every day come from and how science and technology help farmers produce food in ways that are healthy for them and for our planet," Secretary Redding said. "The Shapiro Administration is committed to connecting all Pennsylvania students with the opportunities waiting for them when they graduate and want to put their science, technology, engineering, and math skills to work feeding our world."

Part of national Remake Learning Days, Farm City Day is the first in a series of events across Pennsylvania exposing students to careers in agriculture, a field that supports one in ten jobs in the state, and expects to see 75,000 job openings statewide over the next decade.

The event was just one element of the Shapiro Administration's commitment to supplying the skilled workforce employers need and preparing students for rewarding future careers.

Students from 28 elementary schools in Berks, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, and York counties spent their school day interacting with rabbits, lambs, goats, horses, pigs, and reindeer, along with the innovative people who raise them, raise crops on Pennsylvania farms, and help farmers raise healthy food and products that enrich their daily lives.

In his first budget, Governor Josh Shapiro made historic investments in our public schools, students, and teachers and empowered parents to put their children in the best position to succeed, delivering the largest increase in K-12 education funding in Pennsylvania history and delivering free universal breakfast for 1.7 million students.

The budget feeds hungry minds and supports Pennsylvania's future workforce, continuing to fund PA Farm Bill initiatives including Farm to School Grants, earn-while-you-learn agriculture apprenticeships, the Commission for Agricultural Education Excellence, and more.

The payoff of those investments was clear as Pennsylvania kicked off 2024 celebrating two new FFA chapters, and a record 970 students who earned their blue FFA jackets for the first time. During the annual Farm Show, another 505 student leaders were presented with Keystone Degrees — the capstone of their preparation for careers in science, business and technology.

Pennsylvania continues to lead the nation in the percentage of farmers under 35, and has been hailed as a "roadmap for the nation" in investments to attract a new and more diverse generation to the field.

The 2024-25 proposed budget builds on the past year's historic progress, acting on the bipartisan work of the Basic Education Funding Commission and delivering a comprehensive solution to K-12 education in Pennsylvania with another historic investment in basic education funding to ensure that every Pennsylvania child has the freedom to chart their own course and the opportunity to succeed.

The Shapiro Administration is focused on creating economic opportunity in every community, feeding agriculture's future by investing $10.3 million in a new agriculture innovation fund and a full range of investments to continue Pennsylvania's legacy as an agricultural leader.

For more information on Governor Shapiro's 2024-25 budget proposal, visit For more on Pennsylvania investments to build a world-class agriculture workforce, visit workforce development at

Media Contact: Shannon Powers,, 717.603.2056

# # #


 Content Editor

 PA.AgencyPortal.Media - MediaPageTitle