Humboldt County Office of Education: Agriculture and Natural Resources | CTE at Arcata High

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Agriculture & Natural Resources

Ag & Soil – Andrew Pierce

Floral Design & FFA – Kelly Miller


Photo of Andrew Pierce

Andrew Pierce, Ag & Soil

Portrait of Kelly Miller

Kelly Miller, FFA & Floral Design

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Gives students the opportunity to be a part of a Premier Leadership Organization.
  • The Agriculture Program provides college preparatory science classes for students throughout high school.
  • Freshmen are encouraged to take Sustainable Agriculture Biology.
  • Agriculture Government/Economics class fulfills senior year Government/Economics requirement if a student takes 3 years or 3 classes of Agriculture.
  • If entering the program as a sophomore or older, a student will start in Sustainable Agriculture Biology unless the Life Science requirement has been met.
  • Classes create an Agriscience pathway with 3 lab science courses that meet the area D UC/CSU entrance requirements.
  • Some courses are on a rotation and are not offered every year.
  • All Agriculture classes are project-based: working with local businesses, group projects, and including a variety of hands-on activities such as, maintaining the school garden.
  • Enrollment in an Agriculture class allows students to be an FFA member. Students work to develop their potential in leadership, personal growth, and career success within the FFA organization.
  • As FFA members; students can participate in speaking competitions, judging events, attend leadership conferences, and participate at the chapter, sectional, regional, state, and national levels.
  • Students participate in a Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) to develop entrepreneurial skills, work to secure a job that provides experience in a particular career, or learn how to make a difference in their community through a civic engagement.
  • The Agriculture Program provides students with an opportunity to gain lifelong skills!

Advanced Agriscience / Honors Option

Fulfills Interdisciplinary Science requirement for UC/CSU Admission (Area D) This class takes an interdisciplinary approach to laboratory science and research with agricultural management principles. Using skills and principles learned in the course, students design systems and experiments to solve current agricultural industry management issues. Additionally, students will connect the products created in this class with industry activities and real world encounters implementing skills demanded by both colleges and careers. FOR HONORS CREDIT: Students will be required to complete a culminating project that includes an experimental research project. Final projects will be eligible for Career Development Event competition at FFA events. Also, students will be graded on participation in intra-curricular FFA activities as well as the development and maintenance of an ongoing Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program.

Sustainable Agriculture Biology

Fulfills Life Science Requirement for Graduation and UC/CSU Admission (Area D) This course is organized into four major units that integrate biological science practices and knowledge into the practice of sustainable agriculture. Units address the following questions: Unit 1 What is sustainable agriculture; Unit 2 How does sustainable agriculture fit into our environment; Unit 3 What molecular biology principles guide sustainable agriculture; Unit 4 How do we make decisions to maximize sustainable agricultural practices within a functioning ecosystem. Within each unit, specific life science principles integrate with agricultural principles. Students gain knowledge of how the two disciplines influence each other, which will culminate in the development of a sustainable farm model and portfolio supported by student research. Throughout the course, students will be graded on participation in intracurricular FFA activities as well as create the development of an ongoing Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program.

Agriculture and Soil Chemistry

Fulfills Physical Science Requirement for Graduation and UC/CSU Admission (Area D) This course explores the physical and chemical nature of soil as well as the relationships between soil, plants, animals and agricultural practices. Students will examine properties of soil and land and their connections to plant and animal production. Additionally, students will develop and present a capstone soil management plan for agricultural producers, using the content learned throughout the course. Throughout the course, students will be graded on participation in intra-curricular FFA activities as well as the development and maintenance of an ongoing Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program. 

Agricultural 3/Agricultural Economics & Governmental Policy

America’s agriculture industry is the mainstay of the United States economy. Understanding economics and regulations of this diverse industry is critical to its continued success and prosperity. Students will study the constitution, governments, federalism, the 1991 Farm Bill, microeconomics, macroeconomics, economic systems and agricultural marketing. This class will create and market its own product, research, careers and visit or have visitors from the industry to gain first-hand understanding. Participation in the FFA is a mandatory part of this class. FFA provides students with leadership skills, recreational activities and social activities.

Floral Design

The Art and History of Floral Design provides an introduction to artistic and creative perception including aesthetic valuing through a series of projects in various media including tempera, pencil, flowers, tile, and a variety of papers. Students are also introduced to the elements and principles of visual art design such as line, shape/form, color, balance, and emphasis using a series of floral-based projects to explore the connections, relations, and application to visual arts design. Students will research and study floral trends. Assignments include historical culture, color theory, and analytical critiques of various floral art works. Students will learn multi-part floral designs and creative expression through wedding and special projects.

For more information on CTE programs in Humboldt County contact William Row, HCOE Strong Workforce Program K-12 Pathway Coordinator at (707) 445-7817 or