GENEVA — Over 230 students from 16 high schools in Wayne, Ontario, Seneca and Yates counties attended the fourth annual “Where Your Food Comes From” career exploration event coordinated last month by a committee of local agricultural employers and educators along with the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board Inc.

This event was created to introduce young people to the educational and career opportunities in the agriculture industry available right here in the Finger Lakes region and was made possible with support from local employers and agencies through sponsorships, donations, and volunteers.

According to the state Department of Labor, careers in this industry will continue to grow in the Finger Lakes region over the next several years. Local employers and educators felt there was a need to reach more young people to “plant a seed” that these careers exist and to share information about available job opportunities. This is a joint effort to show students the numerous career pathways they can pursue in this vast, developing field.

Students visited Lawnhurst Farm in Stanley, Finger Lakes Community College Viticulture & Wine Center in Geneva, and Cornell AgriTech in Geneva. Staff at these locations presented information and provided hands-on activities. There were also exhibitors from State University College of Technology at Morrisville, Finger Lakes Institute, GenEx, and LandPro Equipment.

Presentations and activities included extracting sugar from grapes and other aspects of wine making, renewable energy, beekeeping, cheese drying, making apple cider, taste/smell sensory experiment, livestock veterinary practices, livestock artificial insemination, and farm equipment operation and maintenance.

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