Santa Maria Sun / School Scene
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 18
Allan Hancock College cultivates the future with an ag-related grant
BY AMY ASMAN
Allan Hancock College is expanding its curricula on agriscience-based careers, thanks to a $135,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cultivating the Future program. The money will also be used to launch an “ag literacy” campaign to educate students and parents about agricultural production and careers in the ag industry.
“This is a stepping stone,” said Suzanne Valery, the college’s director of institutional grants. “We found that not having horticulture and other agriscience career pathways is a hindrance to our students.”
The college will partner with the city of Santa Maria to create a community to act as a “living laboratory” for the students.
“We want to show the students that there are viable careers in the ag industry that aren’t just working in the fields or working in the wine and grape industry,” Valery said.
The community garden will be located on city land near the college’s vineyard and the USDA’s People’s Garden. It will be open to students and to other community members as well.
“The students will be able to teach residents with plots about planting, food safety, and irrigation,” Valery said, adding that it would help inspire a future generation of ag teachers.
College officials plan to use social media tools, such as youtube.com and a personal website, to help spread the word about the new curricula.
“This [program] will be a foundation for other grant initiatives in the future,”
In a statement to the media, interim superintendent/president Betty Miller added, “Agricultural production is a cornerstone of this region, and the opportunity to provide hands-on, project-based learning for our students is very appealing. We are especially pleased to be partnering with the city of Santa Maria to focus on the many opportunities a career in agriscience can provide.”
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