By Ely Schosek
Springville is a rural community — that’s something everyone in the area knows. So it’s no surprise that Springville-Griffith Institute High School has an excellent agriculture department.
As with most of the departments at the school, the Ag Department has an introductory class open to students as freshmen called, Introduction to Agriscience. Also open to all high school students is the course Ag. Leadership and Development. Both of these courses have no prerequisites and are full-year classes.
In Introduction to Agriscience, students will study a large range of agriculture topics including: plant science, animal science, mechanics and leadership and agriculture’s environmental effects.
“In this class, students will learn the basics of these areas and learn about FFA and this group fits in agricultural education,” the SGI HS curriculum guide stated.
As for the Ag. Leadership and Development class, it’s just what it seems. Students focus on leadership in the agricultural field.
Students will develop skills such as “speaking, parliamentary procedure, interview skills and others, along with understanding the processes in the world of work and government.” This course also introduces the students to the many issues that the American agricultural industry is currently facing.
Along with these two full-year classes, there are a number of half-year classes split between the fall and spring semesters with three during each. In the fall, the department offers Introduction to Horticulture, Animal Science and Introduction to Agribusiness.
Introduction to Horticulture is a great class for anyone who enjoys working with plants. This course teaches students rudimentary knowledge pertaining to plants and soil along with the value that results from skills in horticulture. It is a very hands-on course as students will work in the gardens, greenhouse labs and the classroom giving them a well-rounded knowledge of the subject.
For anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in a field involving animals, Animal Science is a course worth taking. “Students will learn about the anatomy of animals, their life cycles, nutrition and general details about all animals,” noted the curriculum guide. The course may also include dissections and/or experiments.
Successfully running a business in any industry is dependent on the individual’s knowledge of the workings of a business. In Introduction to Agribusiness, students will look at the different kinds of businesses along with their organization and operation. Students will also study some of the skills that an entrepreneur must have in order to succeed.
Of all the Ag. classes offered, those in the spring are the only ones that require students to have taken another specific Ag. class prior.
For instance, students wishing to take Greenhouse Management must have taken either Intro to Agriscience or Intro to Horticulture due to the nature of the class. Western New York possesses a strong greenhouse industry, careers in which require employees to have skills in the following: “soil, plant propagation, business management and retail sales, plant growth and greenhouse construction.” Throughout the course, students will further their knowledge of the subject by working in SGI’s own greenhouse along with visiting some others in the area.
Students wishing to take Large Animal Care and Management must have already taken Intro to Agriscience and Animal Science. Of course caring for animals is a big part of the animal industry but it is especially important for livestock and large animals.
For people with training in animal care and management, job opportunities are much greater. “Students will develop skills in management, feeding, breeding and general care of cattle, horses, swine, sheep and goats,” the curriculum guide stated.
Any student looking to take Agribusiness Sales and Marketing is required to have taken Intro to Agriscience and Intro to Agribusiness. In this course, students will study what it takes to make a business successful through the promotion and marketing of their product and/or service. “Students in this class will learn about marketing all kinds of agricultural products, promoting and advertising businesses and connecting businesses with the ultimate consumer of our products.”
SGI students have plenty of options when it comes to courses in various departments at the high school, and the Agriculture Department is no exception.