In agriculture, students can specialize in Veterinary Assisting, where they can earn certification to be a veterinary assistant, or horticulture, the study of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and landscaping, where students earn their FCHP. Along with these certifications, students in agriculture can also earn their Agriculture Associate Certification, Serve Safe certification, Animal Science certification, and others, which help build resumes and develop skills for employment. Over the past two years, almost 300 students have earned certification through agriculture classes. This helps students earn college credit and become eligible for scholarships, including Bright Futures!
Veterinary Assisting is the most popular career pathway in our agriculture curriculum. Each year, almost 100 students advance from Agriculture Foundations into Veterinary Assisting classes. In total, almost 200 students are in our Veterinary assisting program. This pathway is designed to develop student skills and understanding in areas such as the following: the history of the animal industry, safety in a lab, safety working with animals, customer relation skills, career opportunities, animal behavior, animal welfare, animal systems, breeding, preventive medicine and disease control, control of parasites, and analyzing records. Mastery of these skills help prepare students for careers in the animal industry or college.
Pictured left, veterinary students learn about bee production while visiting the University of Florida.
Students also get the opportunity to practice hands on skills like grooming, cleaning, and working with dogs. Teachers bring in pets to be taken care of by students, called Canine club, and it is a hit with teachers and students!
Pictured below, students groom dogs for Canine Club.
As students advance in the program, they take on more and more responsibilities. Students have the opportunity to show chapter animals or their own animals at the county fair or take care of the school’s animals over extended breaks for community service hours and extra experience!
Above left: Students show animals in multiple fairs throughout the year, including the County Fair, State Fair, and the Farm City Week show. Above center: Students get to work with our animals hands on. This student is milking a cow to help prevent infection of the udder. Above right: A student helps prepare the chapter hog, Bubba, for the County Fair in January.
Students also can work with calves born at school.
Students who enjoy being outdoors and learning in a hands-on environment will fit perfectly in our Horticulture classes. Horticulture is the study of vegetable production, fruit production, flowers, and landscaping - students will have the opportunity to work with all four! Students in Horticulture use five greenhouses to plant, raise, care for, and harvest crops year-round. Examples of projects in horticulture include our NASA partnership with Fair Child Botanical Garden to conduct research with the International Space Station, our annual fall Poinsettia sales, our contribution of thousands of heads of lettuce grown hydroponically to help local food shelters, and Earth Boxes/Raised Beds students use to grow their own vegetables to take home.
Each year BRHS horticulture students raise thousands of heads of lettuce, pictured left, which are donated to local food shelters.
We also grow lettuce varieties under controlled conditions to mimic plant growth in space. This data is used to help determine which leafy greens will make it to the International Space Station for long term space flight.
Pictured below students are working with their raised beds and harvesting lettuce.
Pictured below students are selling and delivering poinsettias raised at BRHS.
Students in Horticulture will work toward becoming a Florida Certified Horticulture Professional (FCHP). This is an industry renowned certification that is recognized by landscapers across Florida. By earning this certification, it verifies students understand how to work safely in landscaping, can identify over 200 plants by picture, have a basic understanding of plant growth and requirements, and can use the manual to diagnose plant problems and solve complex situations. Landscaping is a fast-growing career opportunity in Florida and offers many high paying jobs for students willing to work.