Welcome to the Agriculture Department
Agriculture Department News
Agriculture is one of California’s most important economic sectors, and California is the nation’s leader in agricultural production. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the state produced $43.5 billion in cash crops in 2011, which accounted for 11.6% of the United States crop and livestock production combined. California’s strength in the agriculture field is the diversity of production with more than 400 different commodities. In fact, California farmers produce about half of the nation’s fruit, vegetables and nuts. Agriculture and Natural Resource programs are offered at Elsie Allen (EAHS). Students considering taking Agriculture and Natural Resources courses should be interested in working with plants and animals, be interested in science, and like to work with their hands.
Environmental Horticulture, Landscaping,
Floriculture and Viticulture courses focus on occupations that apply scientific knowledge and practices to produce and market plants; to establish, maintain and manage plant-based enterprises such as vineyards, greenhouses, nursery operations, landscaping and floral design. Students at EAHS gain hands-on experience growing various plants in the school greenhouse or raised garden beds—most of which are sold and the proceeds are made available to students in the form of scholarships.
Animal Science coursework focuses on careers that involve animal physiology, breeding, and the care and welfare of both large and small animals. EAHS offers a course in Veterinary Science in which students engage in detailed laboratory lessons on animal systems, diseases and disorders, genetics and heredity, pharmacology and surgery. This course links students directly with local professionals to provide practical experience and an understanding of the requirements to become a registered animal health professional in California through site visits, job shadows and internships.
In Agriculture Mechanics, students obtain knowledge and industry skills in the areas of basic mechanical practices, safety and selection of tools, masonry work, building materials, water and electrical systems, welding, fabrication, and small gas engines. EAHS is the only high school in the District that offers courses in the area of Agriculture Mechanics, and last year, the program opened doors to a completely modernized facility that includes state-of-the-art equipment in the agriculture mechanics shop, a new agriculture science lab and classrooms, and a new computer lab.
Supervised Agricultural Experience
Students enrolled in an agriculture course have the opportunity to extend their learning beyond the classroom setting through a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). With help from their agricultural teachers, students develop an SAE project based on one or more SAE categories: Entrepreneurship, Placement, Research and Experimentation and Exploratory. Examples of SAE’s include raising an animal for the fair, growing a garden, or agriculture-related work experience. Students in the Agriculture courses can also enroll in an Applied Ag Lab course. This course is offered during the seventh period and involves SAE projects and experiences. Students must be concurrently enrolled in another agriculture course and have their SAE project approved by the agriculture advisors in order to enroll in Applied Ag Lab.
Another component of the agriculture programs at EAHS is FFA. FFA is a dynamic student-led leadership development organization for students enrolled in an agricultural program.