Increasingly, career and technical education (CTE) students are encouraged to participate directly in business ventures in an effort to link their coursework to real-world experience. However, for the students in the agriculture, food, and natural resources pathway at Greene County Vocational Center in rural southeast Mississippi, such emerging trends are old news. Since the 1980s, Greene County Vocational Center students have operated a 25-acre land lab on their campus with commercial operations for Charolais x Beefmaster cattle, catfish, hogs, blueberries, and muscadines, as well as a greenhouse and forest-tree arboretum.
The farm concept allows students to experience a variety of career possibilities within the wider agriculture field. Tom Wallace, director of the center, explained, “One of our goals has been to model a diversified farm with different revenue-generating mechanisms to teach students, local farmers, and cattlemen that it may take many different production models to be profitable.”
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