Assemblywoman Buttenschon’s Bill to Establish Farming Apprenticeship Programs in Schools Signed into Law

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D, I-Utica/Rome) announced that a bill she authored allowing Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to establish young farmer apprenticeship programs has been signed into law (Ch.298 of 2020).

“It’s impossible to overstate the impact that the agricultural industry has had on the lives of every one of us here in New York State,” said Buttenschon. “Not only do our hardworking farmers provide us with the fresh food we need to fuel our families, but they’re also the backbone of our state’s economy. This law will help schools provide greater opportunities for young people to learn about farming and encourage more New Yorkers to work in agricultural fields.”

“Farms are at the heart of what makes New York great. 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,” Senator May stated.

Buttenschon’s 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.