CiTi Introduces new CTE Agricultural Studies Program to High School Students


Oswego County high school students recently explored the The Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation’s (CiTi’s) newest CTE program, Agricultural Studies, geared toward Americans’ growing interest in farm-to-table dining and buying locally sourced produce and goods.


Carolyn Deary-Petrocci, who will instruct the course upon its launch in fall 2022, welcomed students to CiTi’s Mexico campus to discuss what to expect and led them on a tour of CiTi’s sugarhouse and greenhouse - areas in which students would learn skills such as market gardening, tree tapping and horticulture.


The program drew the attention of Chayse Madore, a junior at Altmar-Parish-Williamstown High School, who is currently enrolled in a separate CTE program. Having grown up on a small family farm, Madore believes the program better aligns with her interest and background in agriculture.


“My friend had a flyer for the new program and I decided to come check it out,” she said. “I’m pretty certain about enrolling because I feel like it’s a good fit for me.”


Deary-Petrocci said all students, no matter their familiarity with agriculture, will benefit from the Agricultural Studies program. 


“Some students have agricultural backgrounds and others don’t, which I find interesting,” she said. “We will be able to introduce them to the study of agriculture, while helping others further their knowledge through the program.”


The CTE Agricultural Studies program will engage students in exploring sustainable farm-to-table pathways through plant sciences, horticulture, small animals and conservation. Nearly 100 acres of CiTi-owned forest will be used to expand CiTi Farms for various program highlights, like beekeeping, while students collaborate with those enrolled in CTE Heavy Equipment Repair & Operation (HERO), Construction Technology, Welding Technology, Culinary and Industrial Electrical Technologies programs to complete projects.