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OPINION: New program should boost ag industry

A new industry certification announced this week is a critical addition to the many skills and trade certifications available to high school students in the state.

The Kentucky Department of Education has added agricultural pesticide applicator certification to the list of qualified KDE industry certifications in a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced the state partnership will open a new career path for Kentucky high school students earlier this week.

According to a press release, “The certification would qualify students to immediately enter the pesticide application industry upon graduation, putting Kentucky high school graduates at the top of the list of candidates for these positions. This opens a wide range of career transition readiness pathways for Kentucky high schools students.”

There is a shift in Kentucky high schools to help students become not only college-ready but also career-ready. For some, that means teaching valuable life skills, like promptness, communication, writing and interviewing.

For many others, that means providing a pathway to a career choice that may or may not require any college.

Programs, like the Clark County Area Technology Center, are being implemented more and more to prepare students for highly-skilled trades, like industrial maintenance, healthcare, computer science and engineering.

Through this partnership, students can earn pesticide applicator certifications in the following categories: agricultural pest control, forest pest control, ornamental and lawn care, golf course turf care, interior plantscape care and sports turf care.

This certification will help students seeking employment immediately after school and Kentucky agricultural businesses sre looking for quality employees in this field. This is true for all similar certifications, apprenticeship programs and trade programs taught to our young people in the state.

Kentucky is doing an excellent job helping graduate students are well-prepared to enter the workforce. More importantly, they are competitive candidates for careers that will be profitable and an asset to our communities.

Kentucky has a rich agriculture history, and the industry will be integral to our state’s success moving forward. Providing more opportunities for young people to explore the plethora of career opportunities related to the agriculture industry is beneficial on many levels, and it’s a practice we must continue.

 

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. The board is comprised of publisher Michael Caldwell and managing editor Whitney Leggett. To inquire about a meeting with the board, contact Caldwell at 759-0095.