NFHS Booming Agricultural Program


North Forsyth High School’s agriculture program continues to grow and expand! (Photo Credit: Austin Gray.)

Ramya Raja, News Editor

North Forsyth High School has several pathways, many of which focus on the agricultural industry. The agricultural program at North continues to grow and change as the years progress. For example, North’s farming program has a new animal breeding program. Other changes, such as greenhouse improvements and floriculture competitions, have been started in order to greatly benefit students in the program as well as North’s local community.

Senior Avery Blakeslee, a greenhouse manager, describes some of the changes that have been made during her time in the agriculture program.

As of this year, the agriculture program has been able to care for several animals, including a snake and coy fish. The program has also been breeding smaller animals, such as bunnies and mice, and caring for them as well.

The program maintains two greenhouses, where plants are grown to be sold to the local community. Blakeslee says, “I am student manager of one of our greenhouses… I work to keep our plants healthy.” Students work to plant, cultivate, and then distribute these plants to the community.

Students in the agricultural program also have the chance to showcase their knowledge by joining the school’s floriculture team. Blakeslee, who is on the team, says that “[it] is a little like an academic team that focuses on flowering plants. Our team competed very well [recently], and I was able to connect with people on the program I would have never met otherwise.”

Blakeslee continues to explain how all of the changes that the program has undergone greatly benefit the community and students: “These changes have a huge impact on our school and our community. I wasn’t aware… [of] how many people participate in our agricultural program, or how many opportunities it offers. Kids really form [a] community in the program and make it their own, and they also find a viable path to success and inspiration to believe in their ability to achieve it. The program’s growing diversity makes it a welcoming home to all kinds of students with all kinds of interests as well as connects them to all kinds of employment and volunteer opportunities and secondary education opportunities.”

Despite all of the progress this program has already made and the impact it has had on the local community, there are still more projects underway. North’s agricultural program is excited about their plan to implement a hydroponics system (a system of growing plants in sand, gravel or liquid with added nutrients, but without soil). Blakeslee says, “As a plant lover, I am … extremely excited about our new hydroponics lab – the greenhouse in which we are developing a hydroponics system. Agriculturalists speculate that this efficient water-based horticultural system could be the key to overcoming the modern world’s dwindling resources available to horticultural development. It’s amazing to see this technology firsthand; it feels like we’re playing a part in global innovation.”

North’s farming department does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The new improvements continue to inspire all students in the program and recruit others to join.