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Governor Hochul boosts agricultural education in New York
New York Ag Connection - 02/26/2024

Governor Hochul announced significant advancements in New York's agricultural education programs and FFA chapters during National FFA Week. Since 2016, the number of agricultural teachers has grown over 75%, reaching 412 in 2023. Additionally, the state has witnessed a surge in FFA chapters and membership, with 36 new chapters established since 2022 and nearly 12,000 current members.

This growth is attributed to various initiatives, including Cornell University's agriculture education programs and the dedication of the New York FFA Association. These efforts have allowed more schools and students to participate in agricultural curriculums, potentially directing them towards careers in this field.

The Governor's 2024 State of the State address and FY 2025 Budget reflect continued support for agricultural education. Proposed initiatives include a youth agriculture leadership conference, increased funding for the FFA and New York Agriculture in the Classroom program, and additional support for urban agricultural education and the Minorities in Agriculture program.

Hochul emphasized the importance of agricultural education, stating, "There are endless opportunities for students to build a career in agriculture, from farming to food science... New York will continue supporting our passionate educators and grow these critical programs across the state."

State officials like Commissioner Ball, Senator Hinchey, and Assemblymember Lupardo all expressed their support for these programs, acknowledging their vital role in developing future leaders in agriculture and related fields.

New York FFA Director Tolosky and President Underberg highlighted the growth within chapters and members, emphasizing the opportunities for personal and professional development fostered by the organization.

Representatives from Cornell University, including Dean Houlton and Director Lighthall, commended the state's commitment to agricultural education, acknowledging the crucial role of teachers and the potential impact on future generations.

Director Carpenter from New York Agriculture in the Classroom emphasized the program's focus on fostering agricultural literacy and preparing students to thoughtfully engage with the food system.

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