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Agri-Business Academy

October 5, 2015 - 1:25pm

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Students with the Agri-Business Academy from the Batavia CTE assisted in a demonstration with the FFA Mobile Maple Syrup Exhibit at Alexander Elementary Schoool this morning.

About the exhibit:

The New York FFA Mobile Maple Exhibit is an interactive display depicting all facets of the maple industry. Housed in a 28-foot trailer, visitors are offered a firsthand look at: how maple syrup was discovered; how maple sap is collected from maple trees; and how the liquid sap is then processed into pure, sweet maple syrup. The presentation concludes with a sampling of pure maple syrup and/or other maple products.

The presentation is broken into five segments, with the first being a whole-group depiction of the discovery of maple syrup. Visitors are asked to imagine a time when only Native Americans inhabited our lands and how one day the sweet, clear maple liquid was discovered coming from a maple tree. Next, participants learn about tapping a tree, whittling an old-fashioned maple spout, and using a modern tubing system to collect the maple sap.

In these segments, students may have a chance to use a bit and brace to “tap” their own maple tree and install a metal maple spout. After tapping the maple tree, participants help “collect” the sap from metal buckets. In the third portion, students become a mini-forest of maple trees and learn how gravity helps collect the maple sap using a modern plastic tubing system.

As groups enter the trailer, they view an actual scene from our school’s woodlot and imagine a winter’s day in February. Here, we demonstrate how the maple sap is processed into fresh maple syrup by viewing an actual mini maple-syrup evaporator. Learn how the maple sap is transformed from a clear liquid into a sweet, golden syrup.

Our explanations include how water is removed from the sap, how the finished product is graded, filtered and packaged, and how maple syrup is used as a food and natural sweetener. Finally, sample the sweet results of hours of work with a tasting of pure maple syrup or other maple products. 

Above, Assemblyman Steve Hawley takes in the demonstration. Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer had visited the exhibit earlier.

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April 7, 2014 - 5:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, Agri-Business Academy.

Press release:

In the Fall of 2014, a new program, the Agri-Business Academy, will be available to students at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center. The Agri-Business Academy is a one-year partnership program between the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and Genesee Community College. This college-prep program is geared toward highly motivated high school seniors interested in investigating careers in the agri-business field.

Students will explore multidisciplinary professions through meetings with career guest speakers, in conjunction with job shadows and field trips at a variety of agricultural and business locations. Food management science, environmental science, global position systems technology, power machinery, international trade, or agri-tourism, are a few of the areas that will be studied.

At the completion of this one-year program, students will earn 12 SUNY college credits.  The credit hour cost for academy students is $50, which is one third of the regular GCC tuition rate.

Kerri Richardson has been appointed as the instructor of the Agri-Business Academy at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center. Richardson’s family has deep roots in the farming community.  Her father is a veterinarian who operates his practice on the family farm. She holds a bachelor of science degree from Cornell University. In 2012, she earned a master of science degree in Agricultural Education from Cornell University. Richardson is a lifelong member, competitor, and leader within 4H and FFA. Richardson recently was employed as a Community Educator for the Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension.

"The Genesee County area has an impressive, welcoming agricultural community that provides youth with a plethora of opportunities. I am excited begin my career as an instructor of the Agri-Business Academy and provide students with the opportunity to explore and delve into the agricultural community through experiences in agri-businesses," Richardson said.

Applications are now being accepted for this program. If you know of a student who might be interested in this program, please contact Richardson at [email protected] or 585-344-7711, ext. 2140, or Catherine Bennett at [email protected] or 585-344-7773.

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