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The First Ever High School Viticulture Program in Texas

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The First Ever High School Viticulture Program in Texas

In the Texas Hill Country, Mason ISD has successfully spearheaded the first ever High School Viticulture program in the State of Texas. In collaboration with Texas A&M University, whose Justin Scheiner will help write the curriculum, Mason ISD high school teacher, Lance Rasch and local viticulturist, Dan McLaughlin of Robert Clay vineyards who will supply the facility and land use for the vineyard, water and materials, the Mason ISD board has received approval from the Texas Education Association to move forward for the Fall semester of 2015.

Over twenty Mason ISD students have already registered for the class, which has been approved under the Texas Education Knowledge and Skills classification of Viticulture and Environmental Science and is open to 9th to 12th grade students.

The First Ever High School Viticulture Program in Texas

Texas A&M University will be donating the vines. Mason County soil is some of the best in the state for growing grapes as the sandy composition of the soil makes for good drainage. The USDA soil studies have found low salinity in areas of Mason County, which also contributes to the success of viticulture in the county. Students will be instructed via coursework and hands on experience in the vineyard in the agricultural aspect of growing grapes. The course will not include wine making or any alcohol related participation.

The First Ever High School Viticulture Program in Texas

In the growing viticulture economy in Texas, implementation of this innovative coursework is a big step in the direction of promoting agriculture and putting Texas grapes on the global wine map.

Photos and Article by Mason Texas