PVHS Ag Department Named Outstanding Large Agriculture Program

PVHS Ag Teachers

July 6, 2022

The Pioneer Valley Ag Department was recently named the Outstanding Large Agriculture Program in the state, marking the first time in the high school’s history.

The recognition was given during the California Agriculture Teacher’s Association annual conference held at Cal Poly in late June. The department was previously awarded the Outstanding Agricultural Program for the South Coast Region in April and went on to compete at the state level. The region stretches from San Jose, along the coast, to Los Angeles.

The department offers an array of courses that challenges students through academic rigor and practical application. Students can take agriculture courses in five pathway areas. All courses taken in the Ag department are UC/CSU approved. These agriculture pathways allow students to take courses in a variety of areas, challenge themselves academically, earn industry standard certifications, and college credit through our collaboration with Allan Hancock Community College. The SMJUHSD has more than 40 CTE pathways.

In combination with the curriculum, students have the opportunity to be involved with FFA through their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) Projects and numerous leadership opportunities. A goal of the Ag department is to ensure that all students have an SAE Project, which makes up 10% of each student’s class grade.

“We have students with small plant SAE projects, Ag Mechanics students build furniture, farm equipment, BBQ pits, and we have many students raise livestock. We are fortunate to have many students work in agriculture production as paid placement SAEs. In 2021, our students invested nearly 44,000 hours and a total asset value of over $900,000 in their SAE projects. Leadership is also a major component of the program. Each year we have numerous students attend leadership conferences, participate in speaking competitions, travel throughout the state to compete in agricultural judging competitions, and run for leadership positions at the chapter, sectional, regional, and state level. The success of the Pioneer Valley FFA leadership component is evident through the many accolades earned in 2021 alone; including a State Champion soils judging team, 2 sectional officers, 2 regional officers, 1 state officer, 2 state proficiency award winners, and 31 State Degree recipients. We continue to strive to be the best youth organization that we can provide for our community, and we look forward to continuing the successful traditions we have built for FFA and agriculture education on our campus.” - Panther FFA Advisor and Teacher Marcie Guerra.

SMJUHSD Media Contact: Public Information Officer Kenny Klein 805-709-1454 or kklein@smjuhsd.org