Union County Public Schools is offering students an opportunity to explore and engage in one of the fastest-growing industries in the state and region. Agrotechnology (AgTech) is the integration of technology in the agricultural industry. Agriculture careers involve more than farming. Agricultural education prepares students for over 300 careers in agriculture, such as production, financing, processing, marketing, veterinary medicine, robotics, automation and agricultural product distribution.
Forest Hills High offers AgTech pathways in animal science/pre-vet, sustainable plant systems, agricultural mechanical skills, food systems and AgriBusiness.
- Interest in AgTech is growing and it supports other district offerings such as culinary, automotive and health sciences.
- Union County’s agricultural production accounts for 55% of its land mass (186,626 acres). While agriculture occupies the bulk of the land, few students know the great potential and range of options that agriculture and/or agricultural-related fields can provide for their future.
- There are several career options in agriculture, yet there is a labor shortage.
How are AgTech classes offered?
- Classes are offered in different pathways from ninth through twelfth grade.
- Classroom/laboratory instruction
- Supervised agricultural experience (SAE) programs
How will teachers make AgTech relevant to students?
- Students work on a range of hands-on projects in the school’s greenhouse, aquaponics lab and AgMechanics shop.
- Students participate in field trips around the county to expose them to the agriculture industry in Union County and hear from guest speakers.
How will students benefit from AgTech?
- Opportunity to explore career options available in agriculture-related fields and to assist them in planning for a future career.
- Technical skills training for success in an agriculture-related career.
- Connectivity of school-based instruction with work-based learning.
- Leadership and personal development training needed to succeed in an agriculture-related career including teamwork, problem-solving and communications.
- Students will have a competitive advantage in the local and global economy.
- Commitment to community development and service through projects that require interaction with parents, agribusiness leaders and other community organizations.
- Development of skills necessary for lifelong learning in agriculture leading to career advancement and success.
Union County Public Schools is thankful for the support of partnerships including the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, South Piedmont Community College and Wingate University.