It is no secret that agriculture is one of the top industries in Jackson County.
At Jefferson High School, we currently offer 10 pathways in the Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources program. Courses in this program include many agricultural content areas, such as animal science, plant science, forestry, and mechanics. These courses, along with the Agribusiness Management and Leadership course, provide a variety of pathways for students to explore many areas of the agricultural industry.
Our newest pathway at JHS is the Veterinary Science pathway. This pathway offers students the opportunity to learn more about animal systems and careers in veterinary science. JHS offers students many work-based learning (WBL) opportunities for increased access to the veterinary services industry.
The Agriculture Mechanics Systems pathway and the Agricultural Mechanics and Metal Fabrication pathway provide extensive experiences for students with small engine maintenance and repair, metal fabrication, concrete construction, building construction, plumbing, electrical wiring, maintenance of agricultural machinery, and soil and water conservation. These two pathways have played a significant role in WBL placements for students in the agricultural, energy, and manufacturing industries in our region. Jefferson High School places students in these positions each year to provide experiences in engineering, warehouse management, shop fabrication, and farming.
In addition to the courses available at JHS, Jefferson Middle School offers courses that introduce students to the diversity of agriculture. Students study animal science, horticulture, mechanics, forestry, veterinary science, and other aspects of modern agriculture. The new greenhouse facility allows students to learn about the required activities and maintenance to keep it functioning properly. The greenhouse also provides opportunities for students to learn career-ready skills such as pulling weeds, mixing soil, planting seedlings, and the overall care of the facility.
One unique aspect of the agricultural pathways is the opportunity for students to be engaged in the National FFA Organization. This organization prepares students for leadership, career success, and personal growth. FFA members enjoy livestock shows, monthly meetings, after-school workshops, and competitions. At Jefferson High School, FFA was first established in the 1930s at Martin Institute. The history of success is continuing to grow each year with more state and national finalists and winners. Every student enrolled in an agricultural class at both JMS and JHS is a Georgia FFA member. This affords students the opportunity to participate in local career development events and leadership forums. FFA members may compete in floral design, wildlife, livestock judging, horse judging, floriculture, creed speaking, and lawnmower driving and maintenance. There are over 250 FFA members at JHS and over 420 at JMS.