Teacher Talk by Kim Jones
The Elsberry High School Ag department is more than just an FFA Chapter. Students have classroom activities and shop projects to help them meet the objectives for the courses taught. Jason Vandivort is the primary teacher for the department. He teaches Exploring Agriculture, Ag Science I and II, Ag Construction, Ag Structures and Horticulture. Retired Clopton AG teacher, Mike McCrory, also is part of the EHS teaching staff, as he teaches three classes in the morning, Ag Science I, Advanced Animal Science and Computer Aided Drafting Designs. Aide, George Nieters is a vital part of the department assisting with everything from kitchen duty to supervising in the shop.
Course descriptions for the classes are as follow:
Exploring Agriculture – A general literacy course designed to introduce and apply life skills related to one of America’s basic industries- agriculture. Units of instruction will be selected from Introduction to Agriculture, Plant Science, Animals in Society, Products from Agriculture, Natural Resources and Conservation, Leadership and Personal Development, and Basic Home and Farmstead Safety and Maintenance.
Agriculture Science I – A course designed for instruction in animal science, agriculture mechanics, career exploration, leadership and personal development, and supervised agricultural experience, Woodshop, Units may also include agribusiness, natural resources, and food science.
Agriculture Science II – A course designed for instruction in plant and crop science, soils, entomology, horticulture, and forestry, and additional instruction in agricultural mechanics, career development, leadership, and supervised agricultural experience.
Agriculture Construction – This course utilizes welding in the development and construction of major metal and wood projects. Each student will be required to build their own project.
Concrete masonry, plumbing and sewage disposal, farm fences, product handling and processing equipment, and farm buildings.
Greenhouse Operation and Management/Horticulture – This course develops a basic understanding of greenhouse techniques. The production of greenhouse crops will be used to demonstrate procedures such as plants started from cuttings, seeds, grafts, and layering. Students will manage their own crop as a greenhouse project.
Agricultural Science I. This is a course designed for instruction in animal science, ag mechanics, career exploration, leadership and personal development, and supervised ag experiences.
Advanced Animal Science. This is an advanced study in animal production, management, marketing, nutrition, breeding, production records, selection, animal health, waste management, and biotechnology may be included in this course.
Computer Aided Drafting Designs – This class will allow students to use AutoCAD to increase their efficiency and ability to produce state of the art computerized production drawings, blueprints and designs.