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York County schools, libraries get state grants for agriculture projects

Students at West Shore School District are developing green thumbs with the West Shore Aquaponics lab. 
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
John A. Pavoncello photo

A newly reenacted Ag and Youth Grant program will enable two local districts and York County Libraries to expand their agricultural opportunities.

Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday, Jan. 6, announced $500,000 in grants for 55 projects across the state, aimed at addressing a predicted 75,000-person workforce deficit the state's agriculture industry faces in the next decade.

The grant program was reenacted last July as part of the state's first ever PA Farm Bill.

“These programs are urban, rural, or suburban, and they all further our mission to grow the industry’s future leaders, " stated Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding in a news release.

More:West Shore aquaponics supports urban agriculture, STEM education

Northern York and York City school districts and the county's library system each received $7,500 — the maximum amount for a direct grant.

Northern's will go to Gifford Pinchot FFA to benefit middle school programming through industry tours and professional certification courses. The library grant will fund its summer program — incorporating gardening and farm field trips.

And the city district's STEM academy will purchase hydroponics equipment to grow seeds to be transferred to areas where students are working to restore native habitats.