Students explore careers in agricultural mechanics and food science in Lancaster County
Oley Valley High School students explore New Holland Agriculture and the Turkey Hill Experience
Forty-six students from Oley Valley High School and their teachers explored agricultural mechanics and food sciecne as career options through a career showcase field trip to New Holland Agriculture and the Turkey Hill Experience on Tuesday, May 7. Funding for the trip was provided by the Information Technology Action Team through Earned Income Tax Credit donations to the Chester County Economic Development Council.
Art Moyer, a former employee of New Holland Agriculture, lead one of the four groups of students through the plant, showing them how each piece is manufactured on machines and taken to the assembly line where it is used to build hay equipment which is distributed worldwide. From the small pieces to testing the finished product, the students were able to observe all of the intricacies which go into building world-class farm machinery. One of the students added that he uses the equipment at home on his family’s dairy farm, but was very interested to see how it is built before it arrives on his home farm in Oley.
The students spent the afternoon walking through the interactive displays and activities at the Turkey Hill Experience, a unique value-added venture in Columbia which helps the public better understand food science and processing at Turkey Hill. While taste testing many of Turkey Hill’s ice cream flavors, including the new Whoopie Pie flavor, and a multitude of black, green, red, and white teas, the students explored how Turkey Hill ice cream is made, from importing the milk from local farms, to sourcing and adding in tasty ingredients like cocoa and fruit, to packaging and exporting to stores throughout the region.
The students are enrolled in Mr. Jeremy Deysher’s and Ms. Kacey Rice’s agriculture courses at Oley Valley High School and participate in the FFA program. Mr. Deysher spoke with many of the parents days after the tour, and they shared how excited their children were coming home from the trip, and many of them “know where they want to work after high school now, and that’s exactly what we wanted to provide for them.” The students, most of all, enjoyed seeing each process involved in creating a piece of equipment, from machining individual components, to assembly, painting, and final testing.
The AgConnect is an agriculture development partnership of the Chester County Economic Development Council in collaboration with the Chester County Workforce Investment Board.. The mission of AgConnect is to build the capacity of farmers and their supply-chain partners to meet the growing demand for local, fresh foods in the region through investment in business training and workforce development. The IP is funded in part by private sector contributions and a grant from the PA Department of Labor & Industry.
The Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) is a private, non-profit economic development organization promoting smart growth in Chester County and the surrounding region for over 50 years. The CCEDC provides proven financing solutions, cultivates workforce talent, leverages business partnerships, and fosters entrepreneurial collaboration. Together, with the support of the private and public sectors, CCEDC initiates, implements and innovates programs that improve the business community and enhance the quality of life in Chester County. For more information, visit our website, www.cceconomicdevelopment.com.