FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2023
Contact: Taj Magruder, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mount Joy, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Executive Deputy Secretary Angela Fitterer and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) Deputy Secretary for Animal Health and Food Safety Lisa Graybeal today toured Heritage Creek Farm Camp in Mount Joy to highlight unique summer learning opportunities for students.
“Agriculture is one of Pennsylvania’s most economically impactful industries, and the Shapiro Administration is committed to cultivating agricultural education opportunities for learners across the Commonwealth,” said PDE Executive Deputy Secretary Fitterer. “That commitment extends to the summer months, when students are more susceptible to learning loss, and there’s no better way to learn than by engaging in fun activities that spark students’ interest and creativity.”
Agricultural education is a component of Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Pennsylvania, and agricultural education accounts for 10 percent of CTE programs and 11 percent of CTE enrollment. In his inaugural budget proposal, Governor Josh Shapiro requested a $17.3 million total increase for CTE programs and grants.
“Getting kids engaged in and excited about agriculture early is critical to attracting the workers we need to feed a growing population,” said PDA Deputy Secretary Graybeal. “This kind of summer fun is part of the solution to a growing challenge PA agriculture employers are facing. The Shapiro Administration is working to provide employers with commonsense solutions to help them succeed, and help students find meaningful experiences that lead to career success.”
“Nature’s classroom provides many opportunities to plant the seeds for childhood learning,” said Cindi Hughes, owner of Heritage Creek Farm Camp. “On the farm, children experience agriculture through engaging their senses and connecting with the land.”
Through hands-on activities, campers at Heritage Creek Farm Camp learn about food origin, sustainable agriculture, and land stewardship; they also learn about the animals living on the farm and help with animal-related chores. Learning stations throughout the farm encourage campers to explore the outdoor world, learn about the animal and plant kingdoms, and develop new skills.
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