A successful agriculture program in Southern California introduces farming as a viable career choice to suburban students.
Jason Margolis reports on the latest venture to engage the next generation in farming: The Buena Park High School's agriculture program. The high school program has partnered with Future Farmers of America to "Get more minority high school students, often immigrants, interested in running the farm. That includes kids who have no family background in agriculture and live in urban areas like Buena Park, California."
The program is an opportunity for the urban high school students, most of whom have no prior experience in farming, yet recognize that in "most American farms: White farmers own the land, while Latinos do the hard, manual labor. According to the US Census, Hispanics are the ‘principal operators’ of less than three percent of the nation’s farms."
The agricultural program encourages the "students to take pride in the people harvesting the crops, but also know there are other jobs on the farm too." According to high school teacher Jessica Fernandes, the program also provides agricultural college scholarship opportunities not available to students who have not completed farming classes.
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