Agriculture Science Department

Teachers:
Dusty Smith
Holly Ward
Wes Pace, Young Farmer Advisor

Agricultural Education is composed of three distinct, yet interrelated components. A basic component is classroom and laboratory experiences. In the classroom, students learn concepts and theories dealing with a broad spectrum of agricultural and agribusiness topics. The classroom is followed by the laboratory mode of instruction where concepts and theories are carried through to their application. Here, the students are taught “hands-on" skills that ensure that the skills learned are practical and usable.

Both classroom and laboratory instruction are put to use in the Supervised Agricultural Experience Program (SAE) component of the program. In this approach, students work and learn in a real-life situation where they obtain on-the-job skills. SAEP can vary from the traditional home projects to entrepreneurship or cooperative work experience in production or agribusiness.

The third component, the FFA organization, provides an avenue for developing leadership skills. As an integral, intracurricular component of the agricultural education program, the FFA has numerous systems to deliver instruction in leadership. In addition, FFA provides incentives for improved student performance through its awards program. Teachers of agriculture have always stressed the problem solving and decision making approach to teaching. Through this approach, students are better equipped to cope with changes that are constantly occurring, not only in agricultural industry but also in life in general. The strength of the program lies in the flexibility and dedication of teachers whose philosophy is, "We don't just teach agriculture, we teach students."

The optimal benefit of the program is received when a student is an active participant of all three parts of the program. A program that is developed to include the three components with equal weighting is said to have a "balanced approach" and therefore, is providing optimal opportunities for all students. The challenge is developing the balance and maintaining it. However, the focus for all programs in relation to total school improvement is to stay focused on a balanced program, develop strategies to be focused, and evaluate the effectiveness of our balanced program.  (Georgia Department of Education Website)

Career Pathways

Agricultural Mechanics Systems Career Pathway Course Titles:

  • Basic Agricultural Science *
  • Agricultural Mechanics Technology I *
  • Agricultural Mechanics Technology II *
    Horticulture and Mechanical Systems
    • Basic Agricultural Science *
    • General Horticulture and Plant Science *
    • Agricultural Mechanics Technology I *
    Plant and Floriculture Systems Career Pathway Course Titles:
    • Basic Agricultural Science *
    • General Horticulture and Plant Science *
    • Floriculture Production and Management *

    Plant and Landscape Systems Career Pathway Course Titles:

    • Basic Agricultural Science *
    • General Horticulture and Plant Science *
    • Nursery and Landscape *

      *Required for Pathway Completion

    Courses:

    Basic Agricultural Science - designed as the foundational course for all Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Pathways. The course introduces the major areas of scientific agricultural production and research; presents problem solving lessons and introductory skills and knowledge in agricultural science and agri-related technologies. Classroom and laboratory activities are supplemented through supervised agricultural experiences and leadership programs and activities. This course is the prerequisite for all AFNR pathways and is intended for students in grades 8-10.

    General Horticulture and Plant Science - designed as an introduction for the Horticulture-Plant Science Pathway Program of Study. The course introduces the major concepts of plant and horticulture science.  Classroom and laboratory activities are supplemented through supervised agricultural experiences and leadership programs and activities.

    Floriculture Production and Management - designed to introduce students to the principles and practices of floriculture production. Students will develop floriculture skills and the basic understanding necessary to be successful in entry-level positions in the floriculture industry. Classroom and laboratory activities are supplemented through supervised agricultural experiences and leadership programs and activities.

    Nursery and Landscape -designed to provide students with the basic skills and knowledge utilized by the green industry in nursery production and management and landscape design and management.  Classroom and laboratory activities are supplemented through supervised agricultural experiences and leadership programs and activities.

    Agricultural Mechanics Technology I - designed to provide students with introductory level experiences in selected major areas of agricultural mechanics technology which may include wood working, agricultural structures, electrical wiring, electric arc welding, oxy/fuel cutting and welding processes, and power equipment operation and maintenance. Learning activities include information, skill development and problem solving. Classroom and laboratory activities are supplemented through FFA supervised agricultural experiences, leadership programs and activities.

    Agricultural Mechanics Technology II - designed to offer students intermediate level experiences in selected major areas of agricultural mechanics technology which may include small engine maintenance and repair, metal fabrication, concrete construction, building construction, plumbing, electrical wiring, maintenance of agricultural machinery, equipment and tractors and soil and water conservation. Learning activities include information, skill development and problem solving.

    END OF PATHWAY ASSESSMENT (EOPA)
    In working to identify existing assessment (or credentialing) opportunities that would support Georgia students in their quest to leave high school with valuable credentials, the state's technical skill attainment inventory will be comprised of several measurement components: 
    • National industry certifications, 
    • National occupational assessments, and
    • state licensures and state developed assessments

    Students in these pathways earn certifications upon passing the following test:

    • NOCTI Agricultural Mechanics Assessment - Agricultural Mechanics Systems
    • PRECISION Agriculture Science I Assessment - Horticulture/Mechanical Systems
    • NOCTI Plant Science/ Horticulture State Developed Assessment - Plant and Landscape Systems
    Career Technical Student Organization

    FFA

    Advisors:
    Dusty Smith, Wes Pace, and Holly Ward