BEND, OR -- Bend’s Mountain View High School received a big honor, when its Agriculture Sciences and Technology Department was named Program of the Year by the Oregon Ag Teachers Association. Instructor Jeff Papke says it’s humbling to be honored by his peers for building a comprehensive program. "We have a very rigorous curriculum; we have very defined pathways where students can select their area of focus they want to go into; we have amazing community partners, incredible support from the school district, great students [and] great parents to support them." He tells KBND News, "That’s just allowed us to build a very comprehensive program that students can come in to, they can be excited about, they can learn tangible skills, soft skills; and, whether or not they are choosing agriculture as a career path or not, whatever that is they go into, they’ve got some real skills, real abilities that will help them be a success."
Ag Sciences and Technology includes animal science, metals and fabrication, plant science, agriculture leadership, natural resources and others.
This summer, many of Mt. View’s Ag students – and others - have been working hard to prepare their animals for next week’s Deschutes County Fair. Fellow ag teacher Jaimee Brentano says the kids have worked with the animals for months, "They’ve had these animals anywhere from October, or March or April, and they’ve been raising them, feeding them, caring for them every day to make sure that they can get to whatever that end goal is – and for most of those, that’s to be sold in our youth livestock auction. So, they’re raising them for market." That resulting auction can provide a significant pay-out for the students. You can check out rabbits, chickens, pigs, sheep, goats and cattle.
Photo: Papke and Brantano, July 2019