University of Maryland Extension

"Planting" Agriculture at Gwynn Park High School

Image Credit: 
Steve Darcey, Prince George's County Soil Conservation District

On March 19th students from the newly established Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) program at Gwynn Park High School in Brandywine planted 10 fruit trees provided by a grant from the Casey Trees Foundation. It’s just one more sign that agriculture is again “taking root” in Prince George’s County.

The CASE program – which provides a curriculum for students to study agriculture, food and natural resources – started at the school in Fall 2013. 26 students are currently enrolled. In addition to classes, the students also created a new Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter, and Laura Manzi, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, has started an Animal Sciences after-school club with the students.

Prince George’s County Extension staff, Laura Manzi and Janna Howley (Agricultural Marketing Specialist), are Advisory Committee members, whose role is to provide support to the program, identify relevant class speakers, and help develop school to farm field trips for both current, and prospective, students to learn about the wide range of agricultural and natural resources opportunities in the county. As students move through the program they’ll have job shadowing and internship opportunities, and culminate their education with a capstone project. The multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee has high hopes that the program will expand to other county high schools in future years.

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