Syracuse, NY - Senator Rachel May (D-Onondaga, Madison, Oneida) announced that her bill (S.3873A) to establish young farmer apprenticeship programs through BOCES was signed into law over the weekend.
Her bill authorizes BOCES to establish an agricultural program upon local interest from one or more component school districts that are subject to the approval of the BOCES Board of Education. These programs will provide students with the skills necessary to work in the agricultural field and feature partnerships with local farms and agricultural entities to offer hands-on farming experience.
“The Madison-Oneida BOCES region includes many working farms and agriculture-focused businesses, and we are happy to continue partnering with the local agriculture industry and providing students with quality hands-on learning experiences,” said Madison-Oneida BOCES District Superintendent Scott Budelmann. “This additional opportunity for BOCES across the state to develop programming, in conjunction with local school districts, will help create a new educational pathway for learners with an interest in farming and help support the future of the state’s agricultural industry. We appreciate that the Legislature has recognized not only the importance of agriculture to the state’s economy, but also the crucial role that the 37 BOCES in the state play in workforce development, responding to local needs, and connecting education with industry to support their local communities.”
“Farms are at the heart of what makes New York great,” said Senator May. “With many current farmers reaching retirement, it is critical that we invest in programs that encourage young people to get involved in the agricultural field and get the experience they need to become farmers themselves. I am incredibly excited that this bill has been signed into law and look forward to visiting BOCES programs across Upstate in the coming years.”
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