[Image: John White]
News Release Distributed 01/22/14
BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU AgCenter hosted the first of four meetings on Jan. 21 on its Baton Rouge campus to help agricultural education teachers in Louisiana’s middle and high schools understand the new Jump Start program being implemented by the Department of Education.
Commissioner of Education John White met with nearly 40 agricultural education teachers, high school counselors and 4-H agents to explain details of Jump Start, which is a program designed to get more students enrolled in a career diploma program as an alternative to a high school diploma.
He said only 1 percent of Louisiana students are enrolled in the career diploma track now, and he wants to equip more students with the skills to participate.
“We support the agriculture education teachers in the state and their role in helping implement the career diploma program,” said Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture. The Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry have joined the AgCenter in their support of agriculture’s involvement in Jump Start.
More information about Jump Start is at www.LouisianaBelieves.com. The other meetings are at AgCenter offices in Alexandria at the Dewitt Livestock Show Center on Jan. 23 at 3:30 p.m., in Lake Charles at the Calcasieu Parish Extension Office on Jan. 24 at 3:30 p.m., and in Bossier City at the Red River Research Station on Jan. 30 at 3 p.m.
Linda Foster Benedict