READING, PA – Agricultural educators and industry professionals are invited to attend the Berks County Agricultural Education Summit to learn about how individuals can support and grow the next generation’s workforce. Hosted by Penn State Extension, the Berks County Agricultural Education Summit will be held October 14th from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM at the Reading Area Community College, Schmidt Training & Technology Center, 10 South Front Street, Reading, PA.
Partnering agencies—Berks County Intermediate Unit, Penn State Extension, and Berks County Department of Agriculture—are aware and concerned about the statistics compiled by the PA Departments of Agriculture and Education that indicate a significant deficiency in agricultural careers.
In 2016, PDA projected that there will be 75,042 new and replacement job openings in agriculture and food industry from 2017 to 2027. Those occupations that will be most in demand are farm managers, dairy herdsman, farm equipment mechanics and service technicians, farmworkers, landscapers, foresters, butchers, food inspectors, veterinarians, and vet technicians. Education for occupations, such as these, cross many curricula including health, science, technology, mechanics, and engineering, which many may not reference or make a connection to agriculture.
The partnering agencies, along with BCIU Career Pathways initiative’s Health, Science & Agriculture Advisory Committee, have been asked to convene this summit for teachers, school administrators, local agricultural, health and science-related businesses, colleges, technical schools, and governmental agencies.
Breakout sessions will cover topics related to current agriculture issues and trends; panel discussions on growing the agriculture industry workforce; twenty-first century agriculture; agricultural education in relation to professional and personal development; cultural awareness in students and employees; and mechatronics. There will also be an industry showcase throughout the conference.
If you are on the frontlines of impacting students and shaping their competitive edge, your participation, perspective and insight are vital to future agriculture, food systems, health and natural resources industries’ success.
The cost of the conference is $50, which includes breakfast and lunch. Please register online at extension.psu.edu/berks-county-agricultural-education-summit or call 877-345-0691. Walk-ins are welcome.
Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Jill Johnson at 717-394-6851 or email: [email protected] in advance of your participation or visit.