Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Accession No.
Grant No.
Project No.
Proposal No.
Multistate No.
Program Code
Project Start Date
Jul 1, 2006
Project End Date
Jun 30, 2009
Grant Year
Project Director
Duffey, J. T.
Recipient Organization
Performing Department
Non Technical Summary
The problem that is being addressed by this project is the lack of substantiated studies in agricultural technologies that exists in Franklin County, PA beyond the high school Agricultural Science curriculum. This project represents an opportunity to remedy this problem through a county-wide agricultural technology center. The purpose of this project is to create an Agricultural Technology program within the county that will be sustained through funding obtained from the local public school districts. This project will serve to establish the foundation for further development in agricultural technologies in the county.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
Goals / Objectives
This project will address four major objectives. The first objective is to institute a Pennsylvania Department of Education approved Agricultural Technology program at the Franklin County Career and Technology Center (CIP code 01.9999). Accomplishing program approval at the PDE level will create the basis for the future building of a career and technical program at the school and will allow state subsidized study in agricultural technologies for the students of Franklin County assuring continued financial support of the project from our home districts. The second objective of the project To establish the farm property located at 2931 Molly Pitcher Highway, Chambersburg, PA as an agricultural resource center for the Franklin County area. The property has been leased out for rental for most of the time that the school has owned it and this project provides a great opportunity to create a signficant presence in the community for agriculture. The third objective of the project is to develop articulation agreements with a minimum of 2 post-secondary institutions in the south-central PA region by the school year 2007-08. Using the program and this property for instruction has generated interst from a number of post-secondary partners in our school and will open educational pathways for our students toward post-secondary opportunities in agricultural studies through articulation agreements. The final objective is to prepare our students to meet the workforce development needs of south-central PA in the high priority, targeted industry cluster of Agriculture and Food Production. Currently, limited offerings our available within the county for students to learn more about advancing technologies in agriculture. This project will provide a foundation for establishing an advanced skill set within the agricultural industry for our students.
Project Methods
The objectives of this project will be accomplished through a number of planned processes. The first step to the process has already occurred through local Professional Advisory Committee approval. The P.A.C. is a group of local superintendents of schools who contribute to the vision of the school. Many discussions have occurred within the P.A.C. regarding implementation of this project. Following the positive recommendations of this committee the schools Joint Operating Committee(local school board) will receive a full presentation of the project and will berequested to provide further support of its development. In the interim, the school will also receive program approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education for CIP code 01.99999 Agricultural Technology. Recruitment for student interest would occur during Fall of 2006 for scheduling that is to occur for the 2007-08 school year. Following student enrollment, the anticipated hiring of an instructor will occur in June, 2007 to provide leadership to the Agricultural Technology program to include coordination of activities occurring within the existing Landscaping and Horticulture and Agricultural Mechanics programs. Much of the effort needed to accomplish the objectives established in objectives 2-4 above would occur during the 2006-07 school year. The identification of the property as a county-wide agricultural resource center, the establishment of post-secondary articulation agreements and the development of potential graduates trained to succeed in the local industry cluster must occur after program initiation. Funding requested under this grant will support each of the objectives listed through equipment purchases, program advertisement, post-secondary meetings and curriculum development and teacher training. Existing and planned instructional resources will be utilized on the property to provide a realistic experience. The operation of the program will be administered by the new instructor. The methodology to be utilized in this program centers on the actual operation of a farm through emerging technologies. Agricultural Technology will provide students with a unique opportunity to participate in the operation of an actual farm located on school property. Students will work in agricultural research related to crop production affiliated with the Penn State Cooperative Ag Extension Agency and organic farming. They will assist in the care of small animals on the farm property. Students will be exposed to the very latest in agricultural technologies through studies in Bio-Technology, Global Positioning and Hydro-ponic Systems. An active spring flows through the property offering unlimited learning opportunities in the Environmental Sciences. A major component of the program is connecting all aspects of the curriculum together through studies in Agri-Business. Work is also currently being conducted to include this program in the Harrisburg Area Community College College in the High School program. This will provide students enrolled in the Agricultural Technology program a jump start to college by providing them with transferable college credits before they graduate from high school.

Progress 07/01/06 to 06/30/07

The progress on the Franklin County Career and Technology Center's Agricultural Resource Center has been slowed by speculation that the Chambersburg Area School District would purchase all or some of the land associated with project for building development. It appears imminent that Chambersburg Area School District will purchase up to 15 acres of land which partially will include our farm property. While the good news is that this will not terminate our project, it will require us to reexamine some of the proposed land use and move some of the activities to other parts of the property. However, much cleanup and creation of infrastructure has taken place on the farm property over the last year that has transformed what had been an eyesore into what appears to be a rather active farm. While much work is still needed, this progress alone stands out as an outstanding feat over the first year of the project. PRODUCTS: The major product of the project has been the productive use of land around our school that previously was overgrown with weeds. The area has been not only transformed into a productive learning environment but also beautified in appearance. Students have been exposed to learning related to biology, tree and forestation management and crop production as well as retail and wholesale trade which was otherwise unavailable. A new Veterinary Assistance Program is slated to start at our school in January, 2009 which has forged a partnership with the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter. This product of the grant will be beneficial to the community and students for many years to come. Our bio-diesel lab would also have to be considered an indirect product of the project. Although this activity was not originally planned in the grant submission, ideas and networking amongst instructors provided the seed idea of exploring alternative fuels within our curriculum. The ingredients needed for production of bio-diesel can be grown through this project and thus, has to be considered a product of this project. OUTCOMES: The outcome of the project will be a self-sustaining, operational farm that is run by the students. This school-based enterprise will give students a real life, hands-on experience in not only crop production and animal care but also in small business management. The goal of the activity will be for students to interface with vendors and/or adult associations involved in farm operation requiring them to act in a professional and capable manner with relations to business transactions. Further the project will continue to provide learning activities related to emerging technologies in agriculture providing students even more growth in the field prior to pursuing employment or post-graduate studies. DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES: The dissemination of information related to the project has mainly occurred through our six sending school districts in promoting the school and ag-related programs to students and participating school district personnel. Information regarding the project will also be included on our web site and is contained within literature of ag-related programs in our course catalog. Additionally, the AOR attended the PASA Conference in State College, PA in February, 2007 and the NACTE/NAAE Conference in Las Vegas, NV in December, 2007 in order to share ideas and network with other agricultural partners about the project. This acted as a means for dissemination of information related to the project htat otherwise would not have been available to the school. FUTURE INITIATIVES: The students will be building an irrigation system for the land plots that will be fed by a solar-powered pump situated in the Spring. Water will be pumped from the Spring on demand into the various plots of land providing a year round water supply that can be relied upon. Projects yet to be completed but planned include soybean switch grass planting to support our bio-diesel project and turf grass production in support of landscaping instruction. In addition, planned use of the farm has been expressed by home school agricultural science programs which will provide the opportunity to continue growing the project beyond the original thought of the grant. As Franklin CTC becomes a comprehensive school offering a full scope of academic coursework, the land provides even more promise for hands-on, integrated activities between academics and career and technical studies.

The major impact of the project would be for information to get out to the participating school district agriculture programs and to the community to such an extent that the farm becomes an educational resource to all entities associated with the Franklin County Career and Technology Center. An impact has to be related to the satisfaction of local workplace needs through student participation and learning on the project. Additionally, the project serves as resource for community organizations such as Green Thumb, FFA, Coop Extension and the Young Adult Farmers Association in that they can participate in activities and production on the land such as test trials that can benefit learning and research in agriculture.


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