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US (NY): High schools train the next generation of growers

It's Monday, 8 a.m., and these teens have already mucked stalls in the barn and fed the goats, alpacas and miniature cows. They've rounded up eggs in the henhouse, harvested cabbages and a few green-tinged tomatoes, and arranged them in tidy tiers to sell in the Agriculture Store. Now they're ready to put in a full day of classes.

These are the Aggies. They're the first kids to arrive at John Bowne High School in Flushing, Queens, in the morning, and the last to leave on the New York City buses and subways that shuttle them home in the evening.

Some 600 of the city's public school students are enrolled in Bowne's specialized, four-year agriculture program. Like most of their schoolmates, the Aggies follow an ordinary curriculum of English, math and social studies. But they also learn the building blocks of diverse careers in the booming industry of agriculture, which sees almost 60,000 new jobs open up in the U.S. every year, according to the USDA. The Aggies grow crops, care for livestock and learn the rudiments of floriculture, viticulture, aquaculture, biotechnology and entrepreneurship.

Read more at NPR

Publication date: 1/9/2017



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