83 ag education programs receive infrastructure grants from state

Agriscience programs are receiving $4 million in infrastructure improvement grants from the state of Michigan.

State Agriscience Supervisor Mark Forbush tells Brownfield it’s the first time the Michigan Department of Education has made such an investment.

“Somewhere around 85 programs across our state will get dollars between $20-$48,000 that they’ll use for capital expenses,” he says. “Large item purposes that they probably weren’t going to be able to find other funds for, everything from rebuilding or fixing up a greenhouse for livestock facility to building a brand new facility.”

The grants are being distributed through Career and Technical Education funding during the 2023-2024 school year for capital improvements, equipment purchases, and the advancement of agricultural education in Michigan.

Maple Valley Public Schools agriscience teacher Aaron Saari tells Brownfield the grant his school received will update facilities and provide students more opportunities to learn about agricultural diversity.

“We are hoping to do some remodeling of our barn, do some more fencing, get some more equipment, and do some work with our greenhouses and that type of stuff,” he shares.

Forbush says support for career and technical training programs benefits FFA programs statewide.

“Agriculture is a high enough rated program that it gets funded, so every program gets funding, which makes a huge difference for everyone,” he says.

The Michigan FFA Foundation says Michigan House Appropriations Committee Chair Representative Angela Witwer and Michigan House Appropriations Minority Vice Chair Representative Sarah Lightner were instrumental in securing the funding.

School districts receiving grants include:

  • Alanson Public Schools
  • Alcona Community Schools
  • Allegan Area
  • Alma Public Schools
  • Alpena Public Schools
  • Ashley Community Schools
  • Bad Axe Public Schools
  • Bay-Arenac ISD General Ag Program
  • Bay-Arenac ISD Veterinary Science
  • Belding Area Schools
  • Blissfield Community Schools
  • Bloomfield Hills Schools
  • Branch Area Schools
  • Breckenridge Community Schools
  • Byron Area Schools
  • Caledonia Public Schools
  • Cedar Springs Public Schools
  • Charlotte Public Schools
  • Chesaning Union High School
  • Clare-Gladwin ISD
  • Coopersville Area Schools
  • Corunna Public Schools
  • Countryside Academy
  • Dansville Public Schools
  • Durand Area Schools
  • Eaton Rapids Public Schools
  • Eaton RESA CTE
  • Fowlerville Public Schools
  • Fremont Public Schools
  • Genesee Intermediate School District
  • Gogebic-Ontonagen ISD
  • Harbor Beach Community Schools
  • Hastings Public Schools
  • Homer Public Schools
  • Hopkins Public Schools
  • Ida Public Schools
  • Ingham ISD Bio Tech Program
  • Ingham ISD
  • Ionia County Career Center
  • Ishpeming Public Schools
  • Ithaca Public Schools
  • Jackson Area Career Center
  • Jonesville Community Schools
  • Laingsburg Community Schools
  • Lakers – Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker
  • Lenawee ISD
  • Manchester Community Schools
  • Maple Valley Public Schools
  • Marshall Public Schools
  • Mason Public Schools
  • Mecosta ISD
  • Milan High School
  • Montague Area Public Schools
  • Montcalm Area ISD
  • Muskegon Area Career Center
  • New Lothrop Area Public Schools
  • Newaygo County RESA
  • Niles Community Schools
  • North Adams-Jerome Public Schools
  • North Huron School District
  • Olivet Community Schools
  • Ovid Elsie Area Schools
  • Owosso Public Schools
  • Perry Public Schools
  • Ravenna Public Schools
  • Sand Creek Community Schools
  • Sanilac ISD
  • Saranac Community Schools
  • Shiawassee RESD
  • Springport Public Schools
  • St Joseph – Centreville Public Schools
  • St. Louis Public Schools
  • Standish Sterling Community School
  • Stockbridge Community Schools
  • Thornapple Kellogg High School
  • Tuscola Technology Center
  • Ubly Community Schools
  • Unionville-Sebewaing Area School
  • Waldron Area Schools
  • West Shore ESD
  • Wexford-Missaukee ISD
  • Whiteford Agricultural Schools
  • Wyandotte School District

Photo courtesy of Michgian FFA Foundation.

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