Hands-On Learning with Cloud County Agriculture

24 November 2015
Tasha Riggins
Hands-On Learning with Cloud County Agriculture

Ag majors here at Cloud don't just learn - they do.

Are you considering majoring in Agriculture? Cloud County Community College offers great opportunities for students interested in various agricultural degrees. 

There are several different ways that students who are part of the Agriculture program can get a great hands-on experience that will help them in their careers. All students who major in Agriculture are required to take three basic courses. These courses are Plant Science, Animal Science, and Agriculture Economics.

Erin Thornburgh, an Agronomy instructor, said that, “These courses are crucial for students majoring in Agriculture.” There are lots of ways for students to participate in the hands-on experience offered in this program. Thornburgh said that one way to do this is through the labs that are offered in Agriculture classes. The labs put students in real life situations to mirror what they would be doing professionally. Thornburgh believes that classes should prepare students academically and professionally on every level.

Katie Fairchild is an Animal Science major and is also the President of the Farm Bureau and FFA. One of the classes that Katie must take is an animal reproduction class. She told me, “I enjoy Animal Repro class because I have been learning how to properly dissect animals.” Katie participates in horse judging and livestock competitions, which allow her to travel around the United States. Some of those competitions are the Quarter Horse Congress in Ohio and the Quarter Horse World Show in Oklahoma City. There are also livestock competitions in Houston and Fort Worth, Texas.

Noah Deters is an Animal Science major and is the Historian for Future Farmers of America. Noah is a part of the work study program which allows him to work closely with the Ag Unit. Part of his responsibilities require him to take care of the animals; this means feeding them in the morning and at night, making sure they have fresh water, and cleaning their pens. The Ag Unit currently houses five horses and three pigs. There are also other work study opportunities which allow students to work in the greenhouse taking care of the plants.

I also spoke to Xavier Harris, who helps in the Agriculture department through work-study and I asked him what his duties were. He said, “My job is to properly maintain the greenhouse by making sure it is at the right temperature and the plants are watered.”

The Cloud County Community College Agriculture department does a great job preparing students for careers in the agricultural field. Ag majors are offered a variety of classes that will teach you what you need to know to be able to gain employment in different aspects of the agricultural field. Each of the students I spoke with were glad they chose Cloud to pursue their educational goals. They feel they will be successful in their careers because of the experiences, both in and out of the classroom, they have had here at Cloud.

- Hilary Garrett (for JN101)