Batavia, NY- Agriculture is big business in western New York. Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming counties are among seven statewide that, in recent years, have recorded more than $150 million in agricultural sales. Recognizing the extensive career opportunities that exist in this industry, Genesee Community College and the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership are expanding the Agri-Business Academy for high school students in the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wyoming) region. Come fall 2014, the Academy will be offered at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership campuses in both Mt. Morris and Batavia. Students must apply for the Academy by Friday, March 28, 2014.
The Agri-Business Academy began at the Mt. Morris campus in fall 2013. High school students enrolled in the program take college level courses at one-third the regular GCC tuition rate. They also participate in exploratory learning experiences through hands-on activities, field trips and job shadows to obtain a broad knowledge of agri-business careers available. They receive basic instruction in everything from animal and plant systems to food processing and leadership through Future Farmers of America (FFA).
“This program is an excellent opportunity for students who have a sincere interest in agriculture as a career,” said Debbie Dunlevy, Career Pathways Program Director at Genesee Community College. “It can help them get a jump start on their careers and transition to the next level of career development.” Dunlevy credits New York Senators Michael Ranzenhofer and Patrick Gallivan with securing the funds to support offering the program in Batavia and Mt. Morris.
Former BOCES science teacher Rachael Clayson is heading up the program at the Mt. Morris Campus. This first year the program has been offered mornings only and has eight students enrolled. Next year, the program will be offered in both morning and afternoon sessions with a minimum of ten students expected in each session. Students interested must have completed their junior year of high school and maintain at least a B average. Applications and additional information are available online at http://www.genesee.edu/depts/ace/techprep/agriacademy/.
“We look forward to helping cultivate the next generation of agricultural leaders and workers in New York State. We expect these students will grow the agriculture industry to even greater importance in New York’s economy,” said Dunlevy.
For more information, contact Dunlevy at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6316, or via email: DKDunlevy@genesee.edu.
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