"Agriculture is our wisest pursuit because it will in the end, contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."

-Thomas Jefferson

Why is this program important?

The agriculture industry will need future leaders and innovators in order to provide the world with sustained access to healthy food and environmental resources. Ag Ed is a skill-based program that supplements a regular academic curriculum that prepares students for post-secondary education and career readiness.


Agriculture Education is a skill based program that supplements a regular academic curriculum. Our program offers 5 content areas that prepare students for post-secondary education and career readiness. Agriculture Education courses are college prep courses, with several courses taught in conjunction with the UCONN Early College Experience Program. Our program serves the following towns: Ashford, Columbia, Coventry, Mansfield, Willington, and Windham. Tuition and transportation costs to attend the Agriculture Education program are paid by the sending town.

Program Goals:

Students who are in the Ag Ed Program will:
  • Model personal responsibility in the workplace and community.
  • Use strategic thinking to solve problems in the workplace and community.
  • Understand the scale and importance of agriculture in the United States.
  • Work as a team to achieve a common goal.
  • Demonstrate qualities of leadership. 

Classes offered in Ag Ed program include:

  • Animal Systems
  • Athletic Field Management & Agribusiness Systems
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Power, Structural, Technical Systems
  • Sustainable Plant Systems

Students taking classes in Ag Ed may also participate in co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities:

  • The National FFA Organization- a youth organization that helps students develop personal growth, career success, and premier leadership. 
Students in Plant Science classStudents on horsesStudent using chainsawGreenhousePlant science studentsWeldingSkidsteerTurf Students

Career Opportunities

Students who want to develop a career in Agriculture will receive information and support from program faculty to help them explore and begin preparing for a variety of career opportunities. These may include but are not limited to:

  • Equipment Operator/Mechanic
  • Welder
  • Florist
  • Greenhouse Manager
  • Plant Geneticist
  • Landscaper
  • Professional Sports Field Manager
  • University Turf Extension Specialist
  • Animal Trainer
  • Veterinarian
  • Pathobiologist
  • Park Ranger
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Conservation Officer 

How to Apply:

Who May Apply:
We accept 8th graders who reside in the following towns: Ashford, Columbia, Coventry, Mansfield, Willington, and Windham. We can also accept applications from current 9th grade students who plan to enter the program as 10th graders. We do not typically accept applications from rising Juniors or Seniors.

Completing the Application:
The application is standardized to all of CT's Agriculture Education Programs. The application can be accessed through the home page and must be submitted electronically.

Application Criteria:
All applicants are evaluated by the following criteria using a standardized scoring system.
1. Demonstrated interest in a career in an agricultural or agriculture related field.
2. Recommendations from each of the following: guidance counselor, teacher, and personal reference
3. Attendance record
4. Academic records
5. Behavioral records
6. Standardized assessment scores 



Matt Agnello, Director
Monday-Friday, 7:00 am-2:30 pm
860.487.0877 ext. 4571
[email protected]

Ag Ed Open House Slideshow



"Because of the Agriculture Education Program at E.O. Smith, Sydney does not have one 'best quality' but many including: willing to try new things, willing to fail but learn from it, willing to work hard to be the best she can be, and the ability to strive for perfection"  
                                                      -Monica P, mother of Sydney P. Coventry, Class of 2017

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