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The utilization of school-owned property in the vocational agriculture curriculum

Publication Date
  • Agricultural Science
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • Education


There is a lack of available information concerning availability, usability and utilization of school-owned land in western Oregon, southwestern Washington and northwestern California. It would be helpful to know if land is available for agricultural use, how it is used, and ways that it can be used to give experience and background to students who wish to go into agricultural occupations. A survey was made of this area by sending questionnaires to high schools currently offering vocational agriculture in the school curriculum. Eighty-five percent of high schools receiving questionnaires returned them. Ten schools in western Oregon were personally visited and a check list type of questionnaire was used to obtain specific information. Those schools visited were using school-owned land for maximum instructional purposes first, work experience programs second, and money-making projects third. Most of the schools with large acreages of school land have a farm manager or the man with the most priority in the vocational agriculture department has released time to manage the school farm. Production on the individual school farm is determined by the type of soil, availability of help to plant and harvest crops, and the type of equipment owned. Trials are limited to small acreage except where fertilizer or spray programs are used. Two schools of the interviewed sample have land available for work experience programs. Schools using school land for money-making projects do this through the Future Farmers of America chapter. None of the sample schools visited have individuals using school land for their own monetary gain. Students in agricultural education who lack space or equipment for projects, use school-owned land for training and work experience. Nine of the schools visited work with the local implement dealer in securing equipment to operate school farms. Most instructors agreed that school farms should be used in the vocational agriculture department for instructional purposes. The school land should be close to school and used as part of the classroom instructional program. Work experience programs are ideal methods of teaching basic skills to non-farm students and should be a part of every high schools T vocational agriculture program. School farms should be used where the instructor is experienced, and the school has a farm manager to over see daily tasks, relieving the instructor to devote his time to instructional purposes. All instructors visited in the interview sample felt that the school should pay all bills and receive profit, if any, and that the school farm should become a part of the total instructional program in vocational agriculture. Departments using school land for Future Farmers of America chapter farms felt pressure from the community to pay for seed, fertilizer, and chemicals before harvest.

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