Oct. 5—Hall County high schoolers interested in farming have a new toy to play with.
Last week, Kubota Manufacturing of America donated a $100,000 excavator for a program that allows high schoolers to gain hands-on experience operating large farm and construction equipment.
The program, Trades in Training Large Equipment, is offered through Lanier College and Career Academy, the epicenter of the Hall County Schools' work-based learning initiatives.
"Kubota has long been a strong supporter and partner of the HCSD, providing internships to many students through work-based-learning," district spokesman Stan Lewis said in a news release Tuesday.
"Our friends at Kubota get it," said Hall County Superintendent Will Schofield. "They are helping us open future doors to students who have an interest in this area."
Hall County Schools has invested heavily in preparing students for careers in agriculture, opening an Agribusiness Center and securing $2.5 million in state funding this year for a Meat Processing Center.
In August, the district partnered with UGA in establishing a dual-enrollment program that allows seniors to take college courses in agriculture.
"When I talk to the fathers and mothers of the agribusiness industry, they tell me, 'We're facing a crisis. Young people are not showing the interest in agribusiness that the economy demands,'" Schofield said in August.