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State Senator

Cathy Osten

Representing Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich & Sprague

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Ag-Science Students & Teachers Praise More State Aid for Ag Tuition Lebanon

Agriculture science and technology students and teachers at Lyman Memorial High School were happy to host state Senator Cathy Osten(D-Sprague) today to talk about the positive impact that new, increased state tuition funding for vo-ag students will have at Lyman High and across Connecticut.

Sen. Osten spent 90 minutes at the Lebanon Regional Agricultural Science & Technology Center at Lyman High meeting with students and faculty to talk about the impact of the 2019 state budget, which increases the annual state grant for each student attending a regional agricultural science and technology center by $1,000, from $3,200 to $4,200.

Overall agriscience tuition funding in the 2019 state budget (which begins July 1) increased $3.53 million, or 33 percent, from $10.228 million to $13.76 million.

Teachers and students said the increased tuition reimbursement will allow ag-science centers like the one in Lebanon to buy new equipment, supplies and technology (like trailers, animals, books, conferences or greenhouse supplies) to make vocational science programs more attractive to students in the region and make those students better-prepared for success in future agriculture jobs.

“What we wanted to do this year in the budget is to make sure we’re supporting agriculture in Connecticut—sometimes legislators forget that we have agriculture in Connecticut,” Sen. Osten told students. “This increased tuition is needed to update and modernize our ag-science programs, to keep them moving forward so we’re preparing students for agribusiness jobs.”

There are approximately 3,500 Connecticut students enrolled in ag-science programs; agriculture is a $3.6 billion industry in Connecticut that employs more than 25,000 people.

“The increased state tuition is great,” said Mike Wolf, president of the Lebanon Regional FFA. “If we don’t receive this type of funding, then we don’t get to explore new things and new industries. Every little bit, and every big bit, helps FFA chapters like Lebanon.”

“The new funding is awesome because it brings us in line with tuition reimbursements at technical schools and it helps us with recruitment, making our ag-science program more attractive to people in regional towns,” said plant science teacher Megan Grogan.

“The more funding we have, the more attractive our program is to people, and the more the kids get out of it,” said animal science teacher and Department Head Brenda Wildes.

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