Picente, Joined by V.V.S Superintendent Martha Group, Announces Funding, Location and Scope of the V.V.S. Animal Science Center
Animal Science Center Will Be Funded Through Partners In Prosperity Program
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr, joined by Superintendent Martha Group and the V.V.S. Agriculture Department will announce the location, funding and scope for the VVS Animal Science Center, an instructional facility used to teach STEM through Applied Animal Science by the VVS Agriculture Department. The project is being funded with nearly $500,000 through Partners in Prosperity, a program put in place using Oneida Nation Gaming Revenue.
County Executive Picente Said “When we settled long standing disputes with the Oneida Indian Nation and began receiving revenue through gaming I wanted to use some of those dollars for a variety of initiatives that assisted us in moving this county forward. Today is a shining example of a project that will enhance the unique STEM educational offerings here in VVS and have a positive impact for the students and teachers here in the western part of our county.”
The proposed V.V.S. Animal Science Center is multi-species animal facility to be located at the VVS high school campus adjacent to the VVS agriculture department maple production facility. The surrounding area includes land suitable for development for free range and open grazing.
“The central mission of this initiative is to provide in-depth studies in animal agriculture to students in the VVS and surrounding schools leading to careers related to applied animal science. The configuration of student-based decision-making cooperatives emulates typical animal production operations. In addition to technical skills in animal production, students will gain experiences in agriculture business and working in group settings” said V.V.S Superintendent Group.
The layout of the building with two wings each housing three species can accommodate up to six species of livestock. Connected by a service isle, each of the six livestock quarters is equipped with particular designated species’ needs for feed, waste removal, animal care, animal health, and animal handling. All outside paddocks allow for access to appropriate pasturing and free range considerations and also provide for animal safety and security.
A central staging area provides for student laboratory activities, facilitates routine health care, and accommodates feeding functions related to the animals housed in the facility.
Partners in Prosperity Program
Partners in Prosperity Funding was included in the county’s 2015 budget and funds projects in infrastructure, public safety, arts and culture, sharing agreements and economic development as well as tax stabilization. The funding comes directly from gaming revenue as agreed on in the historic Settlement Agreement with the Oneida Indian Nation.