The vast differences in agricultural education programs across the state and nation is fascinating.
Today, we visited a career and technical center run under the direction of Lauren Hort. There are ten schools in the district that can send students to the technical center. The agriculture department consists of a fully functional floral design shop and greenhouse. Students in these classes have the opportunity to engage in real life situations as the floral shop and greenhouse run as a business and sell their products to the local community. Touring the facility, we could see the hard work and dedication the students had for their classes. The greenhouse was open the public, and it was awesome to see students in action. Next, we toured the animal facility. We were greeted by a goat named Eugene who roams the facility. Everything in the facility is used as part of a class. Chickens, hogs, and cows are all part of the program found on school property. A unique aspect of this program was that a few students are on the school district payroll and in charge of different chores to manage the facility all year long.
After checking out the program, we departed to Golden, Colorado for an agriculture industry tour with the Coors-Miller brewery for a tour. This turned out to be more of an educational experience then expected as we learned that more of the processes benefit agriculture then we were aware! The barley mash not used in the final product is sent to a farm used to feed cattle as brewers grain. It was interesting to see agriculture in yet another part of life!
After the brewery tour, we headed to Estes Park for the night. On the way, we got a chance to view damage from the September 2013 floods. It was surprising to see the amount of damage that still exists today even after the hard work and amount of time put into recovery.
Throughout our travels today and this week, we have been able to see the diversity and importance of agriculture in many ways! We are looking forward to our last few days on our great Colorado adventure.
A huge thank you to the CHS Foundation and the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences for supporting our adventure!