COVINA, CA – Covina High School students prepare to join California’s biggest industry – agriculture – by engaging in hands-on learning at the on-campus farm and greenhouse where they can work with real animals and plants. The California School Boards Association (CSBA) recognized the Agriculture and Animal Science programs with a distinguished Golden Bell award on Nov. 30, celebrating Covina High’s program and its excellence.
The agriculture department comprises of a four-year program with courses in sustainable agricultural biology, soil chemistry, floriculture, animal science, veterinary science, and agricultural economics and government. Through these classes, students learn how to be smart consumers and gain first-hand experience in animal care and gardening.
“My favorite thing about teaching the program is seeing students first get their hands on an animal, realize the responsibility they have to care for it, and watch them grow, learn, and be successful,” Angie Bacon, Lead Agricultural Science teacher and Future Farmers of America (FFA) Advisor said. “We’re incredibly excited to be awarded with a Golden Bell, and we’re going to keep on doing what we’ve been doing in this outstanding program.”
The programs are offered through FFA, an intracurricular student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership. Through FFA, students attend leadership conferences across California, participate in competitions, and receive support in big projects including raising livestock, gardening, research-based projects, and more.
“My absolute favorite thing about the program is being able to connect with other members throughout California through FFA,” senior Aiyana Martel said. “Our program gives us the opportunity to participate in events that are above the school level, allowing us to make friends and connections with other high schoolers from all over the place.”
Martel joined the agriculture program because of her love for pets and desire to learn more about taking care of animals. After graduation, she plans to major in either agricultural communications or political science with the goal of advocating for the agricultural industry through legislation.
Other students in the agriculture program go on to get jobs as veterinarians, agriculture teachers, consultants on informed food choices, and more.
“Our agriculture program is incredibly unique and offers students so many great opportunities to learn, grow, and become future leaders in a huge career industry,” Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Eminhizer said. “We’re honored to have the Agriculture and Animal Science programs recognized for their excellence with a Golden Bell award, once again highlighting Covina-Valley Unified as a standout District.”
CVUSD_AGRICULTURE1: (From left to right) Covina-Valley Unified Board of Education clerk Simon Wright, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Julie Harrison, Assistant Superintendent Michele Doll, Covina High principal Dr. Daisy Carrasco, Agriculture department teacher Angie Bacon, Ashley Vizcarra, Board member Rachael Robles, Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Eminhizer, and Board president Maria Caceres accept the California School Boards Association’s Golden Bell award on behalf of the Agriculture program.
CVUSD_AGRICULTRE2: A Covina High School student poses with a goat at the school’s on-campus farm. Students in the Agriculture department learn how to be smart consumers and gain first-hand experience in animal care and gardening.