North Harford’s agriculture team finds success during wreath sale fundraiser


Photo credits: (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

Josh Sellers (right) and Greg Dell (left) chop corn for silage in a field that will be planted with cover crops. Carroll county farmers enroll more than 40,000 acres of cover crops each year.

Ben Sersen, REPORTER

     North Harford is home to a long history of agriculture and the magnet program which brings students from other Harford County Schools here so they can learn a variety of skills.  

     The students in this program recently held a fundraiser selling wreaths,  The event began on Nov. 15 and a pickup window of Dec. 2-4.

     Pricing ranged from $8-$30 depending on size, the wreaths were decorated safely and then made available for pick up from the ag parking lot to ensure safety and social distancing. Pickup was also limited to request only and supporters had the option to pick up their wreaths.

     According to Erika Edwards, the NRAS Magnet Program/FFA Advisor and certified professional Horticulturist, the team of students and teachers sold “138 wreaths as well as over 500 poinsettias with the Elkridge Harford Hunt club topping the list of sales by purchasing 150 poinsettias for their members.”

     According to the flyer produced by junior Zachary Wyatt, the money raised by this fundraiser benefits the NH magnet and agriculture programs as they look to guide more students into the long list of careers in agriculture including scientific jobs such as molecular biologist or genetic researcher or a more hands-on occupation such as a farmer or a large animal veterinarian.

     Agriculture is an important piece in the everyday lives of almost every person, according to National Geographic reporting that “Agriculture provides most of the world’s food and fabrics. Cotton, wool, and leather are all agricultural products. Agriculture also provides wood for construction and paper products.” 

     According to World Bank figures, in 2016 more than 700 million hectares (1.7 billion acres) were devoted to growing corn, wheat, rice, and other staple cereal grains—nearly half of all cultivated land on the planet.

     According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Magnet program was brought to NH in September 2010 and only “sixty students from throughout Harford County will be accepted into this new program” in the program’s first year.

      The USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics information system claims “by supporting the establishment of this new Natural Resources and Agricultural program in agriscience and agribusiness, there will be an increase inn the number of students prepared for post-secondary degrees in the food and sciences By June 30, 2011, 90 percent of NHHS students in the school of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences program will report their intent to pursue a post-secondary degree or career in food and agricultural sciences.” 

      The change to the Agriculture program stems from county farmers raising concerns about the decreasing number of area farmers and the future of farming in Harford County, “Agriculture is not attracting young, bright, motivated people” and “We need programs for young farmers.” (Via USDA)