Agriculture Education at SBRSD
So what exactly is Agricultural Education?
Agricultural Education is a nation-wide program overseen by the United States Department of Education and United States Department of Agriculture. It is primarily a vocational subject, but with its close connections with science, economics, history and other core and elective subjects, it is gaining recognition for its academic value as well. Agricultural education is more than “just a class” – it is an integrated approach to education that provides students with classroom instruction, laboratory skills, hands-on experience, internship opportunities, service learning, leadership potential, and career preparation. In addition to classroom and laboratory activities, students also conduct supervised agricultural experience projects in which they learn by doing. Students also have the opportunity to become members of the National FFA Organization – a dynamic and growing youth agricultural leadership organization with almost 500,000 members nationwide. The mission of the FFA is to make a positive difference in the lives of young people by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.
Today’s generation of youth is further removed from the farm than ever before. As a result, most American youth do not understand the crucial role agriculture serves in their lives and may have false notions of 21st century agriculture. However, these youth will have to make intelligent and informed decisions ranging from what food they eat to agricultural policies. Therefore, the lack of agricultural literacy is both a local and national problem that needs to be addressed.
Goals of the Mt. Everett Agriculture Education program:
▪ The goal for district-wide agricultural education is to provide hands-on learning experiences for students in pre-K to 12th grade that integrate agricultural topics into state standards. The agricultural curriculum will be collaboratively developed and high school students will serve as mentors to younger students.
▪ Prepare students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources systems.
▪ Involvement of the Mt. Everett Regional FFA Chapter at the local, state and national level.
▪ An Agricultural Education Advisory Committee that meets quarterly to support the Ag Program.
▪ Create relationships with interested area farms/agricultural businesses/support organization for guest speakers, field trips, and other educational connections.
▪ Plan and host an Agricultural Fair on school campus every spring.
▪ Provide students with Agricultural Internships within the community.
▪ Acquire a financial network for grants/donations to provide needed resources.
Classes at SBRSD:
Class offerings for high school students will rotate every year based on student interest and community needs assessment. Currently the focus is on Animal Science and Agriscience Applications. Students will work hands on with the animals in the classroom and barn. Additionally, students will visit local farms where they are exposed to a variety of farming operations, techniques, food systems, farm ecology, environmental ethics, and sustainable practices.
Animal Science classes at SBRSD focus on the scientific principles and processes that are involved in animal physiology, breeding, nutrition and care in preparation for animal science career path. Topics include introduction to animal science, diseases, anatomy, genetics, economic importance, identification methods, nutrition, ethical issues, career opportunities, animal evaluation and leadership development. Skills in Biology, Chemistry and Algebra are reinforced in these courses.
Other animal science courses will provide instruction on animal husbandry topics related to small animals that are served by a veterinarian such as dogs, cats, rabbits, reptiles, ferrets, fish and pocket pets. Content related to the breeding, grooming, care and marketing of animals that fit into this category will be covered through this course.
Supervised Agricultural Experience programs and FFA leadership activities are integral components of the course and provide many opportunities for practical application of instructional competencies.