Program of Study

Agriscience is a classroom and hands-on four year program that supplements a regular academic curriculum. There are 5 subject areas offered in the program: Animal Science, Plant Science, Natural Resources, Agriculture Engineering, and Turf and Landscape Management. After rotating through all five of the subject areas, students choose one agricultural subject to specialize in for the last three years. Students learn through classroom and laboratory instruction while developing skills to apply this knowledge in real world settings.

Agricultural Education provides career readiness as well as prepares students for post secondary education. There are three components to the Agricultural Education program which include: Instruction, Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), and the FFA Organization. These components work together to provide optimal opportunities for all students and develop a well rounded individual.

The program is designed with academic rigor with a skill based approach to learning. Students learn current techniques used in the industry from a staff with a wealth of industry knowledge and experience. Students are presented with a challenging curriculum in order to prepare them for a 21st century career. Students also have the opportunity to take classes that give them college credit.

Each agricultural subject has both a classroom and a lab area. The center also features computer access to all students in the program. Currently we enroll students from the following towns: Mansfield, Willington, Ashford, Windham, Coventry, and Columbia. In addition to our facilities at E. O Smith, we have eight acres of athletic fields to maintain, and a ten acre land lab where students grow Christmas trees and operate our large inventory of equipment.

Classes Offered

Animal Science - This class blends all aspects of animal science. Students learn handling practices, anatomy, and management strategies for both large and small animal breeds through practical experience and hands-on instruction.

Units Include: Anatomy and Physiology, Animal Behavior, Nutrition, Equine Science, Livestock Management, Small Animal Management, Poultry Management, Veterinary Technology, Carriage Driving

Natural Resources - Students explore many different aspects of natural resources and the environment through both classroom and field experience.

Units Include: Biomes, Forest Biology, Tree Physiology, Forest Ecology, Silviculture, Water Resources, Fish and Wildlife Management, Fire Ecology, Forest History, Forest Policy, and Forest Ownership

Plant Science - The plant science class is a comprehensive course encompassing various aspects of the horticultural sciences. Students learn in the classroom, greenhouse, floral design shop, and outdoors.

Units Include: Biotechnology, Plant Physiology, Greenhouse Management, Floral Design, Landscape Design, Soil Science, Early College Experience (ECE) Floral Art, ECE Fundamentals of Horticulture

Ag Engineering - Students operate, maintain, construct, troubleshoot, diagnose, restore, and repair different kinds of agricultural equipment as well as various parts of structural systems.

Units Include: Electrical Wiring, Plumbing, Welding, Safe Tractor Operation, Tractor Restoration, Cold Metal Work, Facility Construction, Small Gas Engine Repair and Maintenance

Turf & Landscape Management- Students develop and perfect the many skills needed to work in the landscape industry using current techniques through maintaining the athletic fields and school grounds.

Units Include: Landscape Equipment Operation, Athletic Field Layout and Maintenance, Equipment Maintenance, Patio Construction, Golf Course Design, Safe Tractor Operation

There are also units taught in Public Speaking, Parliamentary Procedure, and Ag Business.

Program Goals

By the end of grade 12 at Edwin O. Smith High School, students in the Agriculture Education Program will:

  • Use mathematical skills and concepts to make and justify decisions and predictions, to identify patterns, and trends, to pose questions from data and situations, and to formulate and solve problems.
  • Write and speak English proficiently to communicate ideas clearly.
  • Choose and apply strategies that enhance the fluent and proficient use of language arts.
  • Recognize and participate in scientific endeavors which are evidence based and use inquiry skills that lead to a greater understanding of the world.
  • Select and properly use appropriate laboratory technology, equipment and materials including measuring and sensing devices.
  • Understand and use, when appropriate, existing and emerging technologies which have an effect on society and our quality of life, including personal, academic and work environments.
  • Analyze the possibilities and limits of science and technology in order to make and defend decisions about societal issues.

SAE - Supervised Agricultural Experience Project

When enrolled in the Agriculture Education program, students are required to have a Supervised Agriculture Experience Project (SAE). This is required by the state of Connecticut, and every Ag Ed student across the country has an SAE project as well. The SAE project is an opportunity for students to learn valuable life skills through work experience in agriculture. The idea of the project is for students to take content knowledge they learn in class, and apply and practice it in a real world setting. Some skills include: work ethic & attitude, record keeping, financial independence, time management, and entrepreneurship.

Students have an SAE project for their Sophomore, Junior, and Senior year. Each year, students need to meet at least 180 SAE hours in order to stay in the program. The SAE project is a large part of the students' grade each year, and is graded at the end of each marking period. SAE projects can be specialized towards a student’s interest, here are some examples of SAE projects we have had here in our program:

  • Agriscience research projects
  • Aquaculture
  • Landscape maintenance
  • Soap production
  • Ag. education
  • Equine training and care
  • Crop production
  • Rabbit showing and care
  • Poultry showing and care
  • Greenhouse production
  • Landscape design
  • Forestry
  • Livestock production
  • Florist
  • Garden center attendant
  • Dairy production
  • Ag. communications
  • Small gas engine repair


Being in the Ag Ed program can prepare you for many careers. Some of these include:

  • Horticulturist
  • Forester
  • Farm Mechanic
  • Athletic Field Manager
  • John Deere Tractor/Equipment Technician
  • Animal Trainer
  • Plant Breeder
  • Entrepreneur
  • Golf Course Superintendent
  • Landscape Designer
  • Greenhouse Management
  • Welder
  • DEEP officer
  • Veterinarian
  • Ecologist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Plant Geneticist
  • Biotechnology
  • Zoologist
  • Pathobiologist
  • Communications

And so many more. For a better look at these try these links:

What it's like here

Ninth grade students that are enrolled in Ag 1 experience an exploratory year in which students rotate through all 5 subjects offered (Animal Science, Plant Science, Natural Resources, Turf and Landscape Management, Ag Engineering). Students in Ag 1 also learn what the FFA is and valuable life skills through FFA activities and service. The Ag 1 unit is an introductory unit for students to get a feel for what they would like to study in future years. Students get both content knowledge in the classroom and skill building opportunities through lab experiences. At the end of the school year, after going through each class rotation, students will then choose a subject area to major in for the next 3 years.

How to Join the Program

  • All interested students must apply to get in the program.
  • Talk to your school's guidance counselor. Tell him or her that you are interested in taking part in the Agriscience program at E.O. Smith.
  • Attend a recruiting session at your school. Ask your guidance counselor for more information.
  • Attend our open house in December to get a tour of the facility and talk to current students.
  • Ask about the application process. You can get this from your guidance counselor, at the open house, or online.
  • Once you've completed an application, return it to your guidance counselor and ask them to send it to the Ag Ed Department by February 1.
  • Once the application is received at the Ag. Ed Department, it will be reviewed by school staff to determine if you will be accepted into the program.
  • In March you will receive a letter in the mail that says whether or not you have been accepted into the program.
  • Once accepted, you will then have to return the letter that states you will attend E. O Smith the following fall.

Contact Information

James Pomeroy, Director
Phone: 860-487-0528
Fax: 860-487-2292

Hours: Monday - Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
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