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Focus On The Future - Eighth Graders Learn About Ag Science, Elective Options
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OHS Ag student Melissa Thompson, left, holds a Buff Brahma rooster while OJHS eighth grader Autumn Taber pets the feathery friend on the junior high campus on Jan. 27. - photo by Dawn M. Henley/The Leader

Students who are enrolled in various types of agriculture classes at Oakdale High School visited Oakdale Junior High School on Friday, Jan. 27 to make presentations and display their FFA project animals.
All day long, the eighth grade science teachers took their students to the library to hear presentations about the various agricultural science and elective classes that will soon be available to them as high school freshmen.
OHS Ag teacher Ed Hartzell said that he brought a cross section of Ag students who represented different groups on campus – such as athletics, FFA, student government – to talk about the class offerings.
OJHS eighth graders learned they could get science credits that are required for graduation by taking an agriculture science class.
“It’s to bring awareness for the kids. They get to choose between regular science or Ag science (when they enter high school),” explained OJHS counselor Candi Crawford.
She added that the high school classes meet all the earth science, which is freshman science, classes but the Ag science has a focus from the agricultural perspective.
There are also Ag science classes that meet life science requirements at the sophomore level, as well as Ag economics/government classes that meet requirements at the senior level.
Students Anna Perrone, Tiffany Thompson, Chris Sulhoff, Liz Staal, Kiley Gravatt, Lauren Rivera, Tanner Morgan, and Kayla Alfaro all spoke to the eighth graders about the options available to them through the Ag program at OHS, including electives.
“Ag really is for everyone,” Perrone said as she spoke about her experience as a freshman taking an Ag class.
While presentations were happening in the library, during lunchtime there were several other OHS Ag students who manned outdoor displays that showcased some of their FFA project animals, including cattle, a horse, rabbits, sheep, and chickens. Both seventh and eighth grade students were able to interact with high school students and learn more about the animals.
OHS Vice Principal Craig Redman also addressed the eighth graders that day about other vocational education and ROP (Regional Occupational Program) electives that are available to the students at the high school as well.