AgScience students learn about threats to trees.

February 11, 2021

AgScience students learn about threats to trees.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

West Shore School News is a presentation of West Shore Educational Service District.

HAMLIN TOWNSHIP (Mason County) — Students in the Career & Technical Education (CTE) program’s AgScience class visited the Ludington State Park earlier this week to learn about diseases and invasive species that have impacted trees at the park and throughout the region. Park interpreter Alan Wernette led the students on a snowshoe hike and discussed the issues.

“This was a great opportunity for the students to learn that AgScience is more than just studying about farming — though that’s an extremely important element,” said teacher Mark Willis. “It’s important that they understand the connection with the land and that this career path can be very diverse. Learning about diseases and invasive species that impact trees also teach students about those elements can effect crops and growing cycles as well.”

Willis said several of the students also plan on competing in an upcoming FFA forestry competition sponsored by Michigan State University.

“Mr. Wernette is a valuable resource who has extensive knowledge in this topic,” Willis said. “As a teacher, I have worked with him for over 17 years. This tour taught the students more than just diseases but also about tree identification and also about how several species, invasive or native, utilize trees for nourishment and shelter.

The CTE program is administered by West Shore Educational Service District through a millage paid by taxpayers of Mason, Oceana and Lake counties. It also contracts services to students from Manistee County.

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