Mountain Home HS launches agriculture program

Agriculture classes range from learning about fish and wildlife to welding (KBOI Staff).

Mountain Home High School is cultivating education through agriculture.

This year the school began offering an agricultural program for the first time in decades.

"The first week I was overwhelmed with students knocking on my door with signature papers and begging me to let them in my class," said Kya Vines, Agriculture Teacher for Mountain Home High School. "I was out of seats and out of room, but I signed them anyway to let them come in because they were so excited about the classes offered and the new things they could learn."

Miss. Vines, a Mountain Home HS alum, says it's a dream come true being able to teach students in her hometown about the crucial role agriculture plays in our everyday lives.

"We live in a world where agriculture is everywhere," said Shane Ireland, a senior at Mountain Home HS. "[It's] the clothes your wear, the food you eat, and all the basics of life. It's important to teach [us] students about that because it can open up so many job opportunities."

The program is available to students freshman through senior year.

Classes range from learning about fish and wildlife to welding.

Some of the students will go on to work jobs in agriculture, but many will not. Either way, they have something to learn.

"Not every kids the same," said Miss. Vines. "In my classroom I have 25 to 30 students and they don't learn the same way and they are not all going to go onto college. So, [I'm] preparing them for the workforce or at least the beginning of a tech program, a two-year degree, a four-year college, [and] onto a doctorate. They are all going to have different levels! If I can provide them with the skills that will get them jobs either right out of high school or to work their way through college, my job has been fulfilled."

This program now also allows students in Mountain Home to be part of the Future Farmers Association, which requires taking a course in agriculture to join.

“I have done 4-H since I was little," said Abby Winings, a sophomore at Mountain Home HS. "Other [schools] already had agriculture programs so they were graduating from 4-H and moving up to FFA. Now we can, too!"

Miss. Vines recently applied for the Idaho Quality Programs Ag Startup Grant and they got it!

She says she is going to use the $25,000 to build a greenhouse and offer horticulture classes for the students.

They will begin putting the greenhouse together in Spring of 2018. Community members are invited to help.

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