– Athens Area School District in Bradford County has been awarded state funding through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Ag and Youth Program, according to Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna).
The $6,060.24 grant will go toward the purchase of a hydroponic grow garden for the Harlan Rowe Middle School’s ag program.
“I am pleased a local school was awarded one of these grants, which are made possible by the Pennsylvania Farm Bill authorized by the state Legislature,” said Pickett. “Students are introduced to agriculture through these school projects, and as a result they may decide to pursue a career in an industry that is so critical to the Commonwealth’s economic vitality.”
The Ag and Youth Program funds projects for ag education and workforce development programs, seminars and field trips, agricultural safety training, capital projects and equipment purchases. The program aims to address the looming 75,000 workforce deficit Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry is expected to face in the next decade.
The local ag education grant was one of 57 that were awarded statewide, totaling $500,000.