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Agriscience In Suburbia: Cambridge High School's CAVE Program

A 7,000 square foot facility, the CAVE is home to over 20 animals and is metro-Atlanta's only Agriscience and Veterinary Education program.
Before Cambridge High School was built, the community agreed that a veterinary science program was an essential piece of the curriculum landscape. The Cambridge Agriscience and Veterinary Education (CAVE) program was started in August 2015, three years after Cambridge High School’s opening. The CAVE building subsequently opened in February 2016; the building houses all the agriculture education classes as well as a barn for future equine science and large animal curriculum. The program continues to grow, and we expect to add more educational pathways and another teacher in the near future.
 
With the introduction of agriculture education comes the National FFA Organization (formerly known as the Future Farmers of America). The Cambridge FFA chapter, chartered in conjunction with the CAVE program in 2015, already has many accomplishments under its belt, including: 3rd place – state Horse Evaluation team, 3rd place – state Agriculture Education competition, 1st place - state Agricultural Communications competition, and Area 1 (Northwest Georgia) President. Also, this past October, three students traveled to Indianapolis and competed at the National FFA competition. They won the National Championship in the Agricultural Communications Career Development Event (CDE).
Cambridge High School’s program is unique in Georgia. While there are more than 300 agriculture education programs across the state, Cambridge is one of just a handful of programs with a veterinary science pathway and a stand-alone building to teach those courses. Our students are at least a couple generations removed from production agriculture, so we are reintroducing basic agriculture knowledge as well as teaching new information on modern technologies and advancements in agriculture, animal science, biotechnology, and veterinary science.
Students at Cambridge have the unique opportunity to work closely with more than 20 small animals housed in the CAVE and also serve the local community through their Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs). At Cambridge, students can participate in mentorships to care for the small animals, foster cats through FurKids, and manage the doggy daycare for the Cambridge staff.
Cambridge students have logged more than 8,000 service hours in the community since August 2015. Those experiences have included: improving their homes through gardening, volunteering at local animal shelters, competing in equestrian events, teaching local students about agriculture, and much more. The CAVE program does not just affect the students in the classroom but the community itself. I believe agriculture education was the perfect fit for the Alpharetta and Milton area and will continue flourishing in the years to come.
 
See the classroom in action with GPB's School Spotlight video on Cambridge High School! 

 

Sarah Nerswick is a fifth-year agriculture education teacher at Cambridge High School in Milton, Georgia. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Agriculture Education) and a Master's in... more