Millerstown, PA – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today visited Greenwood High School for an in-depth look at their FFA and ag education programming. At this National FFA Week Celebration, he discussed the investments made by the Wolf Administration to expand agriculture education opportunities through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill.
"To address the commonwealth's looming 75,000 workforce deficit, we need more extraordinary ag education programs like the one found at Greenwood," said Agriculture Secretary Redding. "It's for this reason that Governor Wolf invested $500,000 in 55 Ag and Youth Grants through the 2019 PA Farm Bill, and why we'll open the program with another $500,000 this spring."
Last year, Governor Tom Wolf signed the first-ever Pennsylvania Farm Bill with an annual investment of $500,000 in an Ag and Youth Grant Program to provide increased availability of agriculture education programs throughout the commonwealth and raise awareness of career opportunities. The program is open to any youth organization designed to promote agriculture, community leadership, vocational training, and peer fellowship; it includes, but is not limited to, Pennsylvania FFA, 4-H, Ag in the Classroom, Career and Community Leaders of American, and vocational education programs.
In January, Governor Wolf announced the approval of the first round of Ag and Youth Grants to fund 55 projects that will increase the availability of hands-on agriculture education opportunities. A second round of $500,000 will open for application late spring.
"Today's youth are tomorrow's leaders of our $135.7 billion industry," added Redding. "Thanks to the foresight of Governor Wolf, we're planting seeds for a bountiful workforce in the years to come."
The 2020 PA Farm Bill is again in Governor Tom Wolf's 2020-21 budget at $23.1 million – it's a necessary investment in Pennsylvania agriculture to grow opportunities and resources, remove barriers to entry, and inspire future generations of leader for the industry.
For more about the PA Farm Bill's investments in agriculture or the work of the Commission for Agricultural Education Excellence, visit agriculture.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers – 717.783.2628