Agricultural Education - CTE

Agricultural Education includes programs of study designed to prepare students for occupations in horticulture, agricultural business, natural resources management, agricultural machinery and production agriculture. Agricultural Education stresses the development of skills in all aspects of agricultural businesses and industries, including planning, management, safety, finances and leadership. Students learn workplace readiness and technical skills, along with participation in the student organization FFA, and work-based learning (Supervised Agricultural Experience) as appropriate. A lab fee is required for all courses.

Agricultural Cooperative Education (Co-op) is a career-preparation work-based learning opportunity, which includes supervised on-the-job instruction for juniors and seniors. This experience connects a rigorous and relevant curriculum with paid workplace experience. Students participating in cooperative education are guided by a training plan that defines academic and workplace skills to be mastered, and requires completing a minimum of 280 hours of satisfactory on-the-job instruction and performance. Applications may be obtained from a school counselor or an agriculture teacher.

Additional work-based learning experiences through job shadowing and internship are available as a part of Career and Technical Education courses through an application process. Internships of 280 hours or more now award course credit and place students in workplaces to develop career-related knowledge and skills. Juniors and seniors who are currently enrolled in CTE courses and who have completed a coherent sequence of CTE courses are eligible. The application process includes student narrative and teacher recommendation. Students participating in the work-based learning experience are required to complete a reflective exercise.

The FFA is the career and technical student organization for all individuals enrolled in the Agriculture Education program. It reinforces the Agriculture curriculum and provides opportunity for competition, travel, leadership and career development.

The High School Industry Credentialing initiative encourages students to work toward a selected industry credential or state license while pursuing a high school diploma. The Virginia Department of Education evaluates on an on-going basis industry credentials against prescribed criteria for graduation requirements for the Standard Diploma (8VAC20-131-50.B) and student-selected verified credit (8VAC20-131-110.C). Credentialing exams are available to any student taking a Career and Technical Education course.

Introduction to Animal Systems

8008 (INT ANIM SYS)
1 Credit
Grades: 9–10

Students develop competencies in each of the major areas of the Animal Systems career pathway including animal nutrition, reproduction, breeding, care, and management. Students learn agricultural mechanics applicable to animal systems.As with all agriculture courses, students will be exposed to principles of leadership and opportunities within FFA along with Supervised Agricultural Experience opportunities.

Small Animal Science

80831 (SMALL ANIMSCI-NON)
1 Credit (Non)
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisite: Any other Agriculture course

80832 (SMALL ANIMSCI-CO)
2 Credits (Co)
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Any other Agriculture course


Students learn how to care for and manage animals. The course focuses on animal health, nutrition, reproduction, evaluation and training. Course content also includes instruction in the tools, equipment and facilities for small animal care and provides activities to foster leadership development. This course is designed for students who have an interest in small animal science and veterinary science. Live animal handling may occur. FFA, SAE, or related student organization activities are encouraged.

Large Animal Science (Livestock Production)

80121 (LG ANIMSCI-NON)
1 Credit (Non)
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisite: Introduction to Animal Systems or Small Animal Science

80122 (LG ANIMSCI-CO)
2 Credits (Co)
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Introduction to Animal Systems or Small Animal Science


This course includes instruction in agricultural mechanics, with emphasis placed on the application of mechanical skills to farm power and machinery, as well as on soil and water management, supervised farming programs, and leadership training.

Veterinary Science

80881 (VET SCI-NON)
1 Credit (Non)
Grades: 11-12


80882 (VET SCI-CO)
2 Credits (Co)
Grades: 11-12

Prerequisite: Any other Agriculture course

Veterinary Science enables students to acquire skills for employment and the technical knowledge needed to succeed in post secondary education as well as in a career in veterinary medicine or a related occupation. A lab fee is required.

Leadership Development (18 Weeks)

9096 (LEADERSHIP)
½ Credit

Grades: 11–12

This course is designed to develop students’ personal and group leadership skills. Students will study principles of leadership, parliamentary law, public speaking, effective communication and human relations skills and development of positive public relations. A lab fee is required.

Introduction to Plant Systems

8007 (INT PLNT SYS)
1 Credit

Grades: 9-10

Students develop competencies in each of the major areas of the Plant Systems career pathway including botany, plant propagation, and plant care and selection. Instructional content also includes an introduction to the various divisions of the plant system industry. Students learn agricultural mechanics applicable to plant systems.​ A lab fee is required.

Floral Design

8055 (FLORAL DES)
1 Credit

Grades: 10–12

This course covers floral design foundations, design applications and the marketing of floral products. Students will produce floral arrangements for a variety of occasions. The history, art and science of floral design will be emphasized. A lab fee is required.

Greenhouse Plant Production

80351 (GREEN-NON)
1 Credit
Grades: 10-12

80352 (GREEN-CO)
2 Credits
Grades: 11-12
Prerequisite: Any other Agriculture course


Students are involved in greenhouse and classroom study in plant production and floral design. The class includes hands-on experiences in all phases of plant production from propagation to environmental manipulation to selling the finished product. Greenhouse Plant Production and Landscaping may be offered in alternate years. A lab fee is required.

Landscaping

80361 (LANDSCP-NON)
1 Credit
Grades: 10-12

80362 (LANDSCP-CO)
2 Credits
Grades: 11-12
Prerequisite: Any other Agriculture course

Students are involved in all aspects of landscaping including design, installation and maintenance. The class includes hands-on activities in all three phases of landscaping which will be valuable for students seeking employment in the landscaping industry. Greenhouse Plant Production and Landscaping are offered in alternate years. A lab fee is required.

Introduction to Natural Resources

80401 (NAT RES-NON)
1 Credit
Grades: 10-12

80402 (NAT RES-CO)
2 Credits
Grades: 11-12
Prerequisite: Any previous Agriculture course


Students are introduced to the variety of topics involved with the conservation of our natural resources. Studies include air, soil, water, forest and energy conservation; wildlife identification; and management practices. Introduction to Natural Resources and Forestry, Wildlife Management may be offered in alternate years. A lab fee is required.

Fisheries and Wildlife Management

80411 (F W MGT-NON)
1 Credit
Grades: 11-12

80412 (F W MGT-CO)
2 Credits
Grades: 11-12
Prerequisite: Any other Agriculture course


Students learn how to identify and manage various animal species including: fish, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The course focuses on understanding the positive and negative impact humans have on the environment. The course provides instruction on managing water quality and operating an aquaculture facility. Students will explore related career pathways. A lab fee is required.

Agricultural Business Operations

80241 (AGBUS OP-NON)
1 Credit
Grade: 12

80242 (AGBUS OP-CO)
2 Credits
Grade: 12
Prerequisite: Completion of one Agriculture course


This course emphasizes off-farm agricultural occupations, business procedures, merchandising, marketing, and agricultural business management. Instruction is provided in agricultural product knowledge, agricultural and leadership development. A lab fee is required.

Environmental Issues

8045 (ENVIR ISSUE)
½ Credit
Grades: 9-12

This course allows students to learn of the ever-growing demand for environmentally safe practices in agriculture and industry as well as public utilities and services. Students are encouraged to question and explore current methods of protecting natural resources for current and future generations. A lab fee is required.

Metal Fabrication and Emerging Technologies

80191 (METAL-NON)
1 Credit
Grades: 10–12

80192 (METAL-CO)
2 Credits
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Any previous Agriculture course


Students learn about a variety of metal fabrication and welding practices in the metal construction industry. Students practice welding procedures in Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Metal Inert Gas (MIG), Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) and OxyAcetylene (OAW). Precision layout and cutting operations also will be performed with power equipment, oxyacetylene cutting and plasma arc. Students will be introduced to precision agricultural management, including (but not limited to) GPS, remote sensing and laser technology. The application of metal fabrication techniques workplace readiness skills and leadership will be emphasized. A lab fee is required.

Agricultural Structural Systems

80171 (AG-STSY-NON)
1 Credit
Grades: 11-12
Prerequisite: Any previous Agriculture course

80172 (AG-STSY-CO)
2 Credits
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Any previous Agriculture course


This advanced course will allow students the opportunity to develop and apply agricultural mechanical skills in the area of carpentry, metal fabrication, electricity, plumbing, concrete and masonry, leveling and land management, and project design and planning. Students will be engaged in practical learning experiences. Employability traits and leadership skills will be emphasized. A lab fee is required.

Small Engine Repair

8021 (SM ENGIN REP)
½ Credit
Grades: 10–12


Students learn basic repair and maintenance of small engines, including those used in lawnmowers and other lawn and garden equipment. Practical learning experiences will be stressed. A lab fee is required. 

Applied Agricultural Concepts

80731 (APP AG-NON)
1 Credit
Grades: 9–12

80732 (APP AG-CO)
2 Credits
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Any previous Agriculture course


Students will learn topics in food science relating to the production, processing, preparation, and preservation of meats, fruits and vegetables. Food handling and safety parameters will be discussed and practiced. Concepts relating to soils for gardening and establishing lawns are included as well as maintaining turf grass for sports and athletic fields. This course will also expose students to mechanical skills necessary to the successful home and landowner in the areas of, but not limited to carpentry, electricity, plumbing, project design and planning and landscaping. Practical learning and leadership experiences will be stressed in all aspects of this course. A lab fee is required.