AGRICULTURE COURSES

The Nipomo Agriculture Department prides itself on preparing students for both college and careers, so that no matter what avenue students choose to pursue after they leave the family at Nipomo High School, they will be well prepared for the challenges and opportunities ahead. All students involved in agriculture classes are required to get involved both inside and outside of the classroom as a part of the curriculum. Students earn course credit for their involvement in various leadership opportunities such as public speaking, career development event competitions, community service and much more. They also receive credit for taking their learning outside of the classroom through their Supervised Agriculture Experience Project. More information on both of these topics can be found on other tabs under the "About Us" section on this site. All agriculture classes incorporate these experiences into students grades in the following way:

 

Grading in Agriculture Courses

ANIMAL SCIENCE

The Animal Science strand is designed for students who have a passion for working with all types of animals from livestock to companion to exotic. This is the ideal course of study for students who hope to pursue a career in veterinary medicine or other life sciences including biology, kinesiology, human medicine, and more. Students completing the Animal Science strand will have knowledge and experience in animal handling, anatomy, physiology, animal nutrition and much more. Courses in the Animal Science strand include the following:

 

Animal Science*

This course will provide the student with principles in Animal Science focusing on the areas of mammalian production, anatomy, physiology, reproduction, nutrition, respiration and genetics. This course is intend- ed to successfully prepare those students who plan to major in Animal Sciences at a college or university. Frequent opportunities are also given to develop and apply rational and creative thinking processes. Also, there is an emphasis on developing values, aspirations and attitudes that promote the student’s under- standing and personal involvement with the scientific explorations and discoveries of the future. These hands-on science experiences are designed to enhance the student’s understanding of Agriculture. Additional emphasis will be placed on industry practices to include record keeping, public relations, communications and FFA. Community classroom will be part of this course. UC Approved — "G" Elective

AGRICULTURE MECHANICS

The Agriculture Mechanics strand is designed for students who enjoy working with their hands. This is the ideal course of study for those who are mechanically minded, and enjoy the challenge of making things work. Students completing the Ag Mechanics strand will have skills in woodworking, plumbing, electrical, welding, design and fabrication allowing them to move on to further education in various trades or to have valuable life skills as they pursue other career opportunities. Courses in the Ag Mechanics strand include the following:

 

Agriculture Mechanics I 

For students interested in general mechanics such as basic shop safety, tool identification woodworking, sheet metal, plumbing, masonry and electricity. Each unit offers small projects so students gain hands- on experience using acquired skills. Students enrolled in AgriScience I can also be enrolled in this class. Additional emphasis will be placed on record keeping and FFA.

 

Agricultural Mechanics II

This class covers ARC welding, MIG welding, and oxy acetylene welding, as well as advanced woodworking and oxycutting. Project plans will be drawn and a bill of the materials used will be budgeted before starting. More challenging projects and high course level content are expected from students following an agriculture mechanics path. Additional emphasis will be placed on record keeping and FFA.

 

Agriculture Maintenance

This course will provide the training and skills required for maintenance and upkeep of farm and ranch buildings and other structures. Students will learn advanced Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Gas Metal Arc Welding, TIG, Oxyacetylene cutting and welding, and advanced fabrication skills. Students will develop a cover letter and resume, and participate in a mock interview. This training will supplement skills learned in agriculture mechanics and agriculture construction. Additional emphasis will be placed on record keeping and FFA.

PLANT SCIENCE

Horticulture and greenhouse production are some of the largest agriculture businesses in Nipomo and the surrounding area. This is the ideal course of study for students who enjoy being outside and learning hands-on while beautifying their surroundings. Students completing the Plant Science Strand will have a solid understanding of plant reproduction and propagation, plant nutrition, principles of color and design, landscape installation, irrigation, and much more. Courses in the Plant Science Strand include the following:

 

Environmental Horticulture

E.H. is for those students desiring to learn landscaping and ornamental nursery skills, to develop skills in technique in home landscaping, to practice landscape design and layout, and to gain entry level employment proficiency in the field of ornamental horticulture. Emphasis is placed on landscaping and nursery management principles (plant growth and production). Projects and exercises will be directed at the use and refinement of the use of the greenhouse and garden area. Students will create their own horticulture project and design their own business. Additional emphasis will be placed on record keeping and FFA.

 

Floral Design*

This course gives the student a review of the floriculture industry in California. The major emphasis will be on learning and/or updating skills for cut flower and potted plant selection and care. Floral design principles and corsage construction will be used to teach art concepts in elements of color, texture, balance, design principles, balance of shape and form. Shop management and job seeking procedures are also covered. Each student will have a supervised agriculture experience project and be given the opportunity to participate in the FFA. UC Approved — "F” V.P.A.

 

 

Courses marked with asterisk (*) are UC approved. 

Foundation Courses

The purpose of the foundation courses is to provide students with opportunities to gain knowledge and understanding of the agriculture industry and FFA, while engaging with rigorous  hands-on science instruction. All foundation courses are approved for science credit towards graduation. Ag. Biology and Ag. Chemistry are also UC approved for area "D"- lab science.

 

Biology & Sustainable
Agriculture*

Biology & Sustainable Agriculture is a one year laboratory science course which meets the graduation requirements for life science and is designed to serve as the first in a three-part comprehensive science education curriculum. It serves as the introductory course for both the Animal Science and Plant Science career strands and is advised for those in the Agriculture Mechanics strand as well. Using agriculture as the vehicle, this course focuses on the principles, concepts, and interrelationships between technology, agriculture, energy and the natural world in which all three exist. This hands-on course will allow students to apply the concepts of molecular biology, ecology, and genetics to explore real-world solutions to some of the major problems facing the global population. Students will also explore the concepts of sustainability, biodiversity, and technology as they relate to agriculture practices and global food systems. Emphasis will be placed on exploring solutions to support the expanding human population while maintaining environmental quality. Students will gain research skills by conducting an experiment of their own design and completing an Agriscience Fair project. Additional emphasis will be placed on recordkeeping and leadership development through membership and participation in the National FFA Organization.

Courses marked with asterisk (*) are UC approved. 

Chemistry
& Agriscience*

Chemistry & Agriscience is a one year laboratory science course which meets the graduation requirements for physical science and is designed to serve as the second in a three-part comprehensive science education curriculum. It serves as the second pathway course for both the Animal Science and Plant Science career strands. Using agriculture as the vehicle, this course focuses on the hidden chemistry that governs all interactions between plants, animals, and the planet on which they exist. Primary units of study will include agriculture research skills, the nature of soil, and units on the interactions between soil and water, soil and animals, and soil and plants. Emphasis will also be placed on the interactions between agriculture practices and soil quality as they relate to global food systems and sustainability. Students will uncover the hidden chemistry that supports all global food production and maintains or degrades environmental quality. Students will gain research skills by conducting an experiment of their own design and completing an Agriscience Fair project. Students will also complete a summative project in which they will work with a local agriculture producer to develop a soil management plan to preserve environmental quality while maximizing yields. Additional emphasis will be placed on recordkeeping and leadership development through membership and participation in the National FFA Organization.

Advanced Interdisciplinary Science for Sustainable Agriculture*

Coming new in the 2017-2018 school year, the Advanced Interdisciplinary Science for Sustainable Agriculture class is intended to be the capstone agriscience course. This integrated class combines an interdisciplinary approach to laboratory science and research with agricultural management principles. Using skills and principles learned in the course, students design systems and experiments to solve agricultural management issues currently facing the industry. Additionally, students will connect the products created in this class with industry activities to link real world encounters and implement skills demanded by both colleges and careers. The course culminates with an agriscience experimental research project in which students design and conduct an experiment to solve a relevant issue. Final projects will be eligible for Career Development Event competition at FFA events. Throughout the course, students will be graded on participation in intracurricular FFA activities as well as the development and maintenance of an ongoing Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program.

Capstone Courses.

The purpose of the capstone courses is to allow students to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired in their other agriculture courses to more complex tasks and problems. These courses are designed for students who have had a minimum of 1 year of prior agriculture education experience. 

 

AG. LEADERSHIP

Ag. Leadership is a course designed for college bound students with an interest in agriculture. Topics will include: advanced parliamentary procedure and debate; prepared speech presentation with written manuscript and documentation; extemporaneous speech outlining and presentation; discussion group dynamics and consensus seeking; marketing plan development; Ag. product sales strategies; presentation of organized oral reasons; resume and cover letter writing and job interviewing skills. Emphasis will be on keeping students at the cutting edge of technological advancements in agriculture, and promoting positive growth in each student. FFA and community activity assignments will be given to enhance citizenship and leadership skills. Additional emphasis will be placed on record keeping for a supervised agriculture experience project.

AGRICULTURE ECONOMICS & GOVERNMENT POLICY*

America’s agriculture industry is the mainstay of the United States economy. Understanding economics and regulations of this diverse industry is critical to its continued success and prosperity. Students will study the constitution, government, federalism, the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill, macroeconomics, economic systems, and agriculture marketing. This class will run its own business, manage other businesses and visit many others to gain first hand understanding of the industry. Computers will be used extensively to learn economics, analysis and interpolation.  U.C. Approved — "G" Elective

Courses marked with asterisk (*) are UC approved. 

Course Flowchart.

This course flow chart provides a basic outline of the recommended courses for each strand by grade level. These courses are merely recommended as the most appropriate courses. In order to accurately assess the needs of individual students, please schedule an appointment with one of the agriculture advisors or your NHS counselor.

 

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