BKW awarded $8,000 grant for Agriscience program

Berne-Knox-Westerlo is proud to announce that the district has been awarded a grant through the New York Agricultural Education and Outreach project and Cornell University in the amount of $8,000. The grant money will be used with the district’s newly formed Agriscience program.

“The timing couldn’t have been better with the new capital project underway,” said Michaela Kehrer, agricultural science teacher and FFA advisor. “This grant will help to support the purchase of pieces of state of the art equipment and necessary lab supplies to support the growing agriscience program in the new facility.”

The new facility includes a 960 square foot Hightunnel acquired with funding assistance from the Albany County Soil and Water Conservation Service. It was built in mid-December.

The grant will help bring students high-quality, project-based agriscience learning opportunities at an earlier time than if the district had not received grant funding. The district is currently implementing a student-driven program that includes hands-on classroom experiences, a strong FFA program, and a Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) program where students can apply what they learn during coursework to real-life situations.

“The Ag program has provided leadership opportunities for students like me, and has brought additional elective courses that students are excited about taking,” said Amber Gebe, a sophomore at Berne-Knox-Westerlo Secondary School.

“It has taught me so much, such as life skills, public speaking, and leadership,” said 10th grader Callie Hempstead. “It has also taught me that agriculture is a major part of the way we live.”

“The Ag program has brought a topic that is directly connected to this community into the classroom,” said senior Breanna Larghe. “It applies real-world skills such as public speaking and teamwork to the subject.”