The SUNY Cobleskill Agricultural Engineering department is engaging the next generation of ag mechanics through an immersive, two-week training session for middle school students, a collaboration with Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School’s Summer Enrichment Program and made possible through a USDA Workforce Development grant.
In July, the program engaged a cohort of 20 students over two weeks, led by College faculty members Easton Murray and Nick Testa. Covering an extensive curriculum, participants delved into shop tool utilization, machine maintenance, tractor operation, and electrical theory.
The program culminated with an Industry Day, providing an opportunity for students to meet with industry professionals and translate their newfound knowledge into practical applications on United Ag and Turf and NYS DOT equipment.
The program was also extended to a BOCES summer school program accommodating 8th graders from Schoharie Central School District. This programming segment featured condensed but impactful two-day sessions, exploring the same subjects while introducing vehicle and truck maintenance concepts, coupled with a hands-on cost analysis component.