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Irvine School intensifying ag programming with AgPro CTF

Posted on February 29, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman
Southern Alberta Newspapers Photo by Anna Smith NEWEST PROGRAMS: Irvine School students, staff and Prairie Rose trustees pose for a portrait after the AgPro CTF presentation.

By Anna Smith
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A pair of Irvine School’s newest programs were presented on Feb. 13 to Prairie Rose Public School trustees, as the school continues to forge futures for the agricultural workers of tomorrow.

“Not only is there going to be a shortage of food, you know, by the year 2050, there’s going to be a shortage of food workers,” said principal Trent Rayner. “I don’t know if you’ve heard this before, but one of eight jobs in the world is food related. So with that, we’re able to branch off and start these AgPro courses.”

These career and technology foundation (CTF) courses ranged from first aid to additional courses planned by teacher Logyn Jacksteit alongside area farmer Nichole Neubauer, both of which started in late January, AgPro Beef and AgPro Crops.

“These courses have accumulated quite the interest and amassed more student signups than we could take, which was wonderful to see,” said Jackstiet. “The current course, AgPro beef, is well underway and acquaints students with the entire world of the cattle business.”

Students have experienced cattle handling, feedlot operations, land protection, veterinary medicine and even cattle auctions in a series of trips as part of the course.

“Students have a large project at the end of the course,” said Jacksteit. “They are also creating a scale model of a cattle handling system in class that will be judged by professionals. There they have to consider handling stress and welfare along with the efficiency of their cattle handling system.”

The other course, AgPro Crops, will be similar in scope in regards to guest speakers and field trips, centred around the various careers that surround the world of crop production.

“We will be studying crops that we’re growing in the classroom as well as aquatic systems that can be built right in your own home, that can grow plants without soil,” said Jackstiet. “We’re even doing one aquatic system that incorporates fish for growing plants and fish in the same tank.”

Near the end of the year, added Jacksteit, they plan to bring all the students on an overnight trip to Olds College, “where they can gather further information that may guide their choices in picking classes as they enter high school and plan their incoming futures in this vast world.”

The trip may also include a secret destination, but this destination cannot be announced yet to avoid disappointing the students should it fail to be booked.

“It sounds like an energetic and bold formula, but kids desire to be fed information at a higher pace in today’s world,” said Jacksteit. “I’m grateful for our community sponsors, hosts and speakers that have joined this program. I’m also grateful for my team at Irvine School, this school division that makes all of this possible.”

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