The Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Career Cluster includes occupations in the planning, implementation, production, management, processing, and/or marketing of agricultural commodities and services. As long as human beings inhabit the planet, we will have a need for scientists and technicians to ensure that we are responsibly managing our food production and natural resources consumption.
Students in agriculture, food and natural resources learn and practice skills that prepare them for diverse post-secondary opportunities. These opportunities could include two or four-year college programs, apprenticeships or employment. Students in this apprenticeship have the option to participate in the following pathways:
- Animal Pathway
- Large Animal/Herd
- Small Animal/Vet Assistant
- Plant Pathway
- Environmental Systems
- Water Resources
- Power, Structural and Technical Systems
- Agricultural Mechanic Technician
- Entering junior year or senior status
- Display a genuine interest in the Agriculture Pathway
- Currently enrolled in or have taken Agriculture courses in junior and/or senior year
- Interview effectively and are hired in an agriculture position
- Maintain a high level of attendance in school and on the job
- Secure transportation to the job
- On-track for high school graduation
Students take courses at their high school that are part of the program of study for either animals or plants that provide the related classroom instruction needed to compliment the worksite training. Such courses can include:
- Introduction to Agriculture
- Small Animal – Veterinary Science
- Large Animal
- Horticulture – Greenhouse
Students interested in Veterinary Science have an option to participate in a night program through the Dane County School Consortium in conjunction with Madison College. Talk to your School to Career Coordinator or Agriculture Instructor for further information.
The employer provides opportunities to experience the basics of agricultural careers in relation to the competency checklist. They provide a mentor to guide and train the student. The employer also evaluates the student on a quarterly basis.
Students may be employed on a farm (family or corporate), veterinary clinic, equine clinic, greenhouse, landscaping firms, country club greens, and produce operations as examples. The positions for these students are usually 2-3 hours a day between 6-8 a.m. or after 1 p.m. The student needs to be employed a minimum of 450 hours for the one year program and 900 hours minimum for the two year program.
Credit between school districts varies, but typically the student will receive 1/2 – 1 credit per semester for the work experience and the same for their classroom training. All students should receive a wage according to the type of work they are performing.