To celebrate Earth Day, Fred Strathmeyer, Jr., Undersecretary of Agriculture for Plant Industry and Consumer Protection, joined Longwood Gardens management, representatives from Seed Your Future and to local school students for Farm City Day in Longwood Gardens to highlight agricultural education and recognize the future of farm labor.
“Collaborating with partners this Earth Day, we are thrilled to showcase farms and gardens that are making a difference in the communities they serve and inspiring students to pursue agricultural careers on Farm City Day,” said Secretary Redding. “As Pennsylvania’s agricultural workforce ages and technology increases, employment opportunities continue to grow. Introducing students to careers in agriculture with hands-on opportunities is critical to meeting these needs and developing educated consumers.
Today’s visit included a “Find Your Way” workshop and a panel discussion with students on careers in horticulture. Pennsylvania Farm City Day is traditionally a one-day event held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center. This year, the program is expanding with events taking place across the state. Secretary Redding will tour events and highlight opportunities for students to experience hands-on learning opportunities and visit farms and gardens that are making a difference in education and workforce initiatives agricultural.
“Our mission at Longwood Gardens is to share the beauty and importance of plants in our world,” said Longwood Gardens President and CEO Paul B. Redman. “Our respected education and hands-on training programs, which began over 60 years ago, are key to sharing this mission and ensuring we have a healthy pipeline of green-collar professionals ready to ensure that our global garden thrives for generations to come,” Redman said. “We are honored to join Under Secretary of Agriculture Strathmeyer, leaders of Seed Your Future, and local high school students and teachers in celebrating Earth Day and recognizing the importance of agricultural education programs. and horticulture for the welfare of our community, our state, and our world.”
To meet the labor needs of Pennsylvania agriculture, the Wolf administration, in coordination with the General Assembly, established a 15-member Commission for Excellence in Agricultural Education. The commission is common to the departments of agriculture and education. He is helping to develop a statewide agricultural education plan, examining ways to get more agricultural education into urban and rural schools. The commission was charged with developing a statewide plan for agricultural education and coordinating the implementation of related programs.
“Celebrating Earth Day at Longwood Gardens is the perfect forum to share the important work Seed Your Future is doing to promote horticulture and inspire people to pursue a career in plants,” said Jazmin Albarran, Director executive of Seed Your Future. “Seeing today’s students work directly with plants and discover the many rewarding careers in horticulture and agriculture is what Seed Your Future and our partners strive to do for students every day.” across the United States,” Albarran said. “We invite more companies to join us in our efforts and thank Secretary Redding and Longwood Gardens for their work in ensuring we all appreciate the vital role of plants in our world.”
Learn more about initiatives and investments to grow, protect and support Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry at agriculture.pa.gov.