Press Releases

Union County Vo-Tech “Agriculturalists of the Future” Learn through Service

A group of students from Union County Vo-Tech’s Agricultural Sciences program has built a “Sustainable Community Outreach Garden” on the Scotch Plains campus, as part of a service learning project under the National FFA: Food For All program. Pictured here (l-r) are Sean Pruszkowski of Union, Union County FFA Chapter President; Everett Smith of Plainfield; and Edgar Sanchez of Plainfield, Union County FFA Chapter Sentinel. Credits: Union County Vo-Tech Schools

A group of high school students at Union County Vo-Tech Schools has been hard at work transforming a corner of their Scotch Plains campus into a vegetable garden, with the aim of growing fresh produce for use within the school and for donation to local food banks.

Called a Sustainability Community Outreach Garden, the project is part of a national youth service learning program under The National FFA Organization, which provided $2,500 for garden supplies and materials.

“The Sustainability Garden project is a valuable addition to the education and career development resources available to our residents through the Vo-Tech schools,” said Freeholder Chairman Linda Carter. “The urban agriculture movement is a diverse, growing economic sector that offers unique learning experiences and rewarding new career pathways in densely developed areas like Union County.”

Sign Up for E-News

The Sustainability Garden consists of raised beds for fruits, vegetables and herbs along with space for plants that attract pollinators.

“One key mission at Vo-Tech is to form a campus-wide community of responsible citizens, and this project is an outstanding demonstration of the service learning model,” said Vo-Tech Superintendent of Schools Peter Capodice. “It is designed to dovetail with the National FFA theme of acting locally to help prevent hunger.”

In addition to providing direct hands-on learning for students involved in Vo-Tech’s Agricultural Science curriculum, the garden will help raise awareness about interrelated agriculture, nutrition and food scarcity issues among students throughout the Vo-Tech campus.

As part of that goal, the entire Vo-Tech campus will be involved in projects related to sustainable gardening practices, such as composting and rainwater harvesting.

The garden project also aims to recruit student ambassadors at Vo-Tech from all 21 municipalities, who can share news and information about sustainable gardening and related issues with their home communities.

“Urban and suburban agriculturists of the future will play a vital role in the health and welfare of their communities, and the Freeholder Board is very proud that Union County students at Vo-Tech are helping to lead the way,” said Carter.

National FFA is a national youth career development organization that operates under Congressional charter through the U.S. Department of Education.

Originally founded in 1928 as Future Farmers of America, in 1988 it changed its name to The National FFA Organization, to signify the embrace of 300 diverse careers identified with contemporary agricultural practices.

At Union County Vo-Tech, the Union County FFA Chapter of the National FFA serves as the Career and Technical Student Organization for students enrolled in agricultural education. 

Union County high school sophomores who are interested in applying to Vo-Tech’s share time Agricultural Science Program for the fall can find out more about the curriculum at

For more information about the award-winning, nationally recognized Union County Vo-Tech Schools visit


Please join the County of Union online at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Summer Life Guard Job Opportunity in Union County

April 10, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ - Summer lifeguard positions are available at Union County’s public swimming pool, the Walter Ulrich Memorial Pool at Rahway River Park in Rahway.

“Union County’s Ulrich Pool provides our youth and adult summer job seekers with an opportunity to enjoy working outdoors in the fresh air all summer long while sharpening valuable life skills including leadership, ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill Is a Huge Blow to The Middle Class

April 8, 2018

Dear Editor:

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices. 

A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” ...

Helping Teenagers Deal with Prom Night Stress

April 18, 2018

Prom can be one of the most exciting times for your teenager but at the same time one of the most stressful. 

It can also be very stressful for parents as they prepare themselves to accept that their teenager is graduating and soon going away to school, while planning a weekend away after prom night. Going to the Shore for the weekend or somewhere overnight has become more of the ...

How to Report Potholes in Union County

April 21, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- With the winter weather finally winding down, potholes are a frequent issue for drivers.

To report a pothole or any other issue with a Union County road, use an online form available through the Union County Department of Public Works and Facilities Management at

County roads are identified by their blue route signs, which include the letters ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, April 21, 10:00 AM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

"All About Owls" Nature Presentation with The ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, April 21, 11:00 AM

PetSmart, Millburn

Dog Adoption Event


Sat, April 21, 12:00 PM

Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA, Scotch Plains

Healthy Kids Day

Health & Wellness