Langston University Hopes Teens Become New Crop Of Farmers
BROKEN ARROW - All week long, students have been visiting farms and gardens like A New Leaf in Broken Arrow.
Organizers hope the tours will help encourage the next generation of farmers.
Alongside the bright yellow squash, red tomatoes and fields of green are more than 70 teenagers participating in the Agricultural Career Pathway Experience.
They are learning what goes into being a farmer.
"I wanted to learn about agriculture ‘cause I didn't know much about it,” said participant Marquell Theriot. “I thought it was just regular farming and playing with animals."
Since Monday, the group of 14- to 18-year-olds has toured a wide variety of farms and gardens stretching from Oklahoma City back to Tulsa.
"It's very exciting because when you're talking about pesticides, organic food, vertical gardens hydroponics, aquaponics, I'm still learning more,” added Dr. Monicke Davis of Langston University. “I say it's always a learning experience."
On every stop, the participants learned something new about sustainable agriculture, ag careers and much more.
Organizers hope these tours bloom into something more.
"The average farmer is 58.3 years old,” stated Davis. “So with that being said, if they are 58 and they are transitioning out, who will be the next group to come in?"
Theriot says she's not quite sure if full out farming is for her, but she's willing to try.
“I'm looking forward to growing tomatoes in my front yard," she said.
The students will wrap up the week on Friday with a special conference where they will give special poster presentations about what they've learned.