ATHENS, PA. (WENY) – The Athens Area School District in Bradford County has been awarded more than $6,000 through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Ag and Youth Program.

The Ag and Youth Program funds projects for agricultural education and workforce development programs, seminars, field trips, agricultural safety training, capital projects, and equipment purchases. The program also aims to “address the looming 75,000 workforce deficit Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry is expected to face in the next decade”.

According to State Representative Tina Pickett, the $6,060.24 grant will be used to purchase a hydroponic grow garden for the Harlan Rowe Middle School’s ag program.   

“I am pleased a local school was awarded one of these grants, which are made possible by the Pennsylvania Farm Bill authorized by the state Legislature,” said Pickett. “Students are introduced to agriculture through these school projects, and as a result, they may decide to pursue a career in an industry that is so critical to the Commonwealth’s economic vitality.”

This grant was one of 57 awarded statewide, totaling $500,000.