ROCKVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) – There are 111 students who come from all over to attend Rockville High School’s Agriculture Science and Technology (ASTE) program. The students work very closely together with their instructors, growing food and learning a lot about the business of farming.
The food goes from the greenhouse and their fields and ends up being part of lunch.
“It’s really awesome to be able to do it ourselves here and to get that hands-on experience growing the crop and then see it in our cafeteria to be able to eat it as well,” said Jessica Donovan, a senior.
“We have ten towns that come to our school and they’re part of our school community. We’re unlike some of the other AG platforms that are out there where our students that come here from those towns, they take classes at Rockville High School or they take classes in ASTE program, so they are completely vetting into our program. They play sports here, they’re all part of the community,” said Jason Mago, principal of Rockville High School.
Students are fully immersed here in all aspects of AG in this year-round program. They’re not only growing food but caring for animals too.
“They come to learn about animal science, plant science, agricultural mechanics, aquaculture, any of those different areas,” said Erika Bahler, Department Head of the AG, Science, and Tech. Ed. Program.
The lessons learned in this program send seniors on their way to college or trade school, some even into small businesses, which they begin right in the AG environment. It’s the hope this program continues to expand to also help foster future farmers in the state.