Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding joined more than 1,500 mid-state elementary students during Farm City Day at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. During the event, students got an up-close experience with 21st century agriculture careers from crop and soil research using drones to animal nutrition and veterinary medicine.
“When these students finish school, Pennsylvania will have more than 75,000 jobs waiting for them in agriculture and the food industry,” said Redding. “One of the Wolf administration’s goals is to introduce students early in their education to the wide range of career opportunities in agriculture. Farm City Day is an important opportunity to stimulate students’ imaginations and broaden their sense of possibility for how their classroom lessons in science, technology, engineering and math can translate into real-world work in settings that appeal to them.”
Farm City Day drew students from schools in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and the many other options available in agriculture. Held during the Keystone International Livestock Expo, students are exposed not only to exhibits demonstrating plant and insect science, technology and veterinary medicine, but also to working farmers caring for their livestock.
Participating schools included:
- Berks County: Conrad Weiser Elementary
- Cumberland County: Bellaire Elementary, Hoover Elementary School, Mooreland Elementary, North Dickinson Elementary, St. Joseph’s, and St. Theresa’s
- Dauphin County: Ben Franklin Elementary, Camp Curtin Elementary, E.H. Phillips Elementary, Premier Arts & Science Charter, Rutherford Elementary, Scott School, South Hanover Elementary, St. Stephen's Episcopal; Sylvan Heights Charter School, and Tri-Community Elementary
- Lancaster County: Lafayette Elementary, and Thomas Wharton Elementary
- Lebanon County: New Covenant Christian School
- York County: AD Goode Elementary
Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Department of Education launched the Planting the Seed initiative, which aims to engage and educate the next generation about the many education and career opportunities available in Pennsylvania agriculture. This year the departments of Agriculture and Education also created the Commission for Agricultural Education Excellence, a commission charged with assisting in the development of a statewide plan for agricultural education.
Over the past three years, the Wolf Administration has invested more than $50 million in agriculture-related economic development projects; increased support for workforce development and agricultural education to help prepare students and workers for the thousands of anticipated job openings in the industry over the next decade; and signed historic legislation that has created new markets for farmers and lowered their tax burdens. The administration is also working to expand broadband access to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians, creating jobs and improving infrastructure statewide, especially in rural communities.
For more information about the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s programs and services, or to learn more about the Planting the Seed initiative, visit agriculture.pa.gov.
Find event photos here.