Agriculture is out of Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School? I say no way!
How could any group of people believe that agriculture is out in Cattaraugus County? Any school within this and neighboring counties can look out a window or drive down any one of our county roads to see that agriculture touches every life within the state of New York.
The Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School teacher of agriculture is retiring due to the dire budget difficulty in the district. In that even, the agriculture science program is in jeopardy. Many people believe that the technology in today's world has eliminated the family far, but I think that, while the family farm has changed, it is certainly the main farming type. I am upset and angered that when just a few months ago, our economy was in the middle of crisis, every newscast and financial report stated that it was a strong agriculture economy that had sustained us in our hard times! Now we don't need to be training the next generation of agriculturists? Search through the area and what do you see up and down the roads of your school district and the others but the varieties of agriculture that boosts our local economy. tell Lam and Webster, Gramco, Austin Milling, Gernatt Gravel, Little Valley Sand and Gravel, Griffith Energy, Tractor Supply and IBA, or Sire Power, ABS, Honey Bee Farmers, beef farmers, lamb and alpaca farmers and the many others that what they are doing does not affect our economy! Most construction and truck driving companies hire farm kids to start out with their first job because they have a work ethic like no other.
I ask that if you don't mind paying $3.97 for a gallon of gas or $4.05 for a gallon of diesel fuel then you won't mind paying $4.50 for a loaf of bread or $6 for a gallon of milk. It will cost that much soon to provide us with food not being produced in our country. Recently, people have been talking a lot about locally grown food being our answer to a safe food supply. Without trained farmers and agricultural workers, we won't be able to find locally grown food.
I cannot believe that our area community would sit idly by and allow the Board of Education and the superintendent to let such a wonderful group of courses slip away. We now have the beautiful facilities needed to expand this program and really let our children flourish as they dive into every aspect of agricultural science. Investing in our children is what is supposed to be happening.
I would most definitely like to add that when we lost our barn to a fire just four years ago it was the agricultural community that helped us to rebuild on the ground that had been in the family for generations. We are grateful to those that helped us in every way they could. It is a community like no other! I am very proud to be a part of it. I also want every opportunity for my children, if they so choose, to maintain the agriculture life. They will need the education as well as the experiences that agriculture education has to offer!
Please don't allow the C-LV School Board to eliminate agriculture education in our school! It will have a rippling effect for a very long time! Contact your board members.
Barbara Pascarella, of Cattaraugus, is a farm wife and the daughter of a farmer.