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Winters Mill Agriculture Program Receives Recognition

Release Date: 9/1/2011 8:32:41 AM

The agriculture program at Winters Mill High School has been selected as the 2011 Maryland Outstanding Middle/Secondary School Agricultural Education Program. This award is given annually by the National Association of Agriculture Educators to one winner in each state.     
Applicants are judged on a variety of criteria including teaching philosophy, well developed classroom and laboratory instruction, development of partnerships, and professional growth. This award also compliments teachers that have superiorly developed FFA Chapters and student consistently perform above standards.
Diane Safar teaches all of the agriculture-related courses at Winters Mill. Her program was recognized specifically for the veterinary science program and the horticulture and greenhouse management program.
Veterinary science students work on hands-on, career-related activities in a classroom/laboratory setting. They work with real sutures and veterinary equipment, as well as animal manikins, to simulate some practices. The program places many highly qualified students in internships each year, and several students each year pursue a college degree in veterinary science.
The agriculture program at Winters Mill includes a horticulture class which incorporates greenhouse management. Students study plant science and grow a greenhouse crop. They are responsible for the planting of seeds, transplanting, organization, maintenance, marketing, and sales of the crop. The program is self-sustaining through the sale of poinsettias and spring bedding plants, and students are involved in all areas of the business. According to Safar, “Each year the students begin with doubts about running a business, but each spring you can see them beam with pride as they present a greenhouse that resembles a magazine cover.”

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