Penn Manor Becomes Ag Aware

By Morgan Fletcher, Lauren Richards and Alyssa Byers –

And you thought dissecting frogs was gross. How would you feel about watching rabbits breed?

Well, that’s part of the curriculum for Veterinary Science, one of the many Ag classes Penn Manor offers to its students. They also offer welding, Ag science, horticulture and engines among many others. But what goes on behind the closed doors of the Ag hallway?

“I think people get the wrong ideas about Ag classes and that’s why they don’t take them,” said junior Caleb Hess.

Hess has taken Ag classes all three years of high school and will continue to take them next year.  He cites Ag Science III as being his favorite class.

“I enjoy them and I think they’re relevant to my life and future career goals,” said Hess.

All safety precautions are taken in Ag classes as much of the coursework can be hazardous. Photo by Alyssa Byers

In Ag Science III, students are given a plot of hypothetical land where they must manage the type of land and the various types of soil.  They also learn to build a resume (as if they haven’t done that enough already) and keep a record book on animals they show.

Welding class is offered as well, allowing students to play with fire while they’re in school. In welding, students are asked to combine two pieces of metal using intensive heat. They use certain techniques such as MIG, oxyacetylene and stick welding.

Joe Bucek, a welding student, enjoys the freedom he gets in his welding class.

“I get a bunch of free time to weld,” said Bucek. “It’s fun.”

How about that engine you’ve been meaning to fix? Penn Manor has a class for that. Not only do you get to tear apart engines, but you learn to rebuild them. Lawnmowers, snow blowers and chainsaws are only some of the engines you could work on. Students also learn about specific engines such as electrical and intake.

For those interested in construction, Penn Manor’s Ag department is the place for you. Construction class offers many ways to learn about construction, even using a hands-on method to help students learn better. Small sheds and other objects are built, all while learning the basics of construction.

“I like taking Ag classes because I get to meet new people and a lot of them have the same background as me,” said junior Laura Wissler.

So, the next time you take a walk down the Ag hallway, don’t be alarmed by the loud noises or the crowing of roosters. It’s all a part of a day’s work for the Penn Manor Ag students.