Mountain View High School’s Agricultural Sciences and Technology Program – which includes animal science, metals and fabrication, plant science, agricultural leadership, natural resources and more — was recently named the best program in the state by the Oregon Agriculture Teacher’s Association.
“We are excited to recognize the tremendous work the staff at Mountain View is doing to support hands-on education pathways that allow students to develop career-ready skills,” said Superintendent Shay Mikalson. “This program is developing future veterinarians, farmers, welders, scientists, leaders and more — and is a great asset to our schools.”
“We are excited to earn this honor and highlight how we are building the program and striving to do better each year,” said teacher Jaimee Brentano, who leads the program along with teacher Jeff Papke.
About 230 students a year enroll in classes in Agricultural Sciences. Papke and Brentano also lead the Future Farmers of America program, which includes students from around the region.
“Students in our classrooms are getting a hands-on education, whether they are demonstrating how to inoculate an animal or weld two pieces of metal together,” said Papke. “We are not just talking about how to do something; we are practicing it and our students are gaining critical thinking skills.”
Recent hands-on experiences include: Natural resources students calculating the Water Quality Index for Tumalo Creek; welding students creating nesting tubes for ducks, which were installed in the Deschutes River in the Old Mill District in collaboration with Ducks Unlimited; and pre-veterinarian students practicing blood draws and injections on simulation animals.
Papke says most of the students who are active in the program go on to further education – whether that is a welding school, a two- or four-year college or military service. This year, 14 Mountain View students became certified welders while participating in the school’s welding program.
Mountain View’s program will now compete against agricultural science programs from around the region.