Austin High School senior Cassidy Watts plans to use what she has learned in the district’s Animal Science Program, combined with her love for animal well-being, to pursue a career in animal nutrition when she graduates. Watts is currently in a senior-level advanced animal science course.
Gabby Ridings, a junior at Travis High School, has ambitions of becoming an agriculture teacher and plans to get a degree in poultry science. Ridings is enrolled in the program’s Livestock Production course.
Available careers in animal science stretch across multiple industries and specializations, and can include but are not limited to biologists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers, farmers and entrepreneurs. As part of the coursework requirements, students must complete a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). These activities are student-led and teacher-supervised and vary based on a student’s interest or career path. The projects allow students to apply their classroom principles in the real world. SAEs strengthen the confidence of students in themselves and their work through projects.
SAEs are not limited to raising animals. Students can intern or volunteer for an organization, shadow someone at their job or become an entrepreneur, as long as the project meets course criteria. Some examples from the FBISD ag programs include campus gardens, canine therapy programs, veterinary and florist co-ops. Most students enrolled in Animal Science are also members of FFA, a national youth organization with local chapters that share the district’s same goal to develop leaders.
Last year, the district opened its third agriculture facility to support the 1,500 students annually enrolled in agriculture science, The Ronnie Davis Agriculture Center.