The Wylie Ag Department

Feature image from


Grace Rhodes, staff writer

It’s that time of year again! Students will soon start to put in their schedules for next year’s classes, and with a decent variety of electives and courses to choose from, it can sometimes be overwhelming for students to narrow down their options. For this reason, I would like to spotlight one of the school’s best programs: the Ag Department!


In terms of practicality, Ag courses are designed to offer hands-on experience in many helpful areas. “Within the Ag department we offer many different courses that students can learn lots of technical skills in and that provide opportunities for different certifications and knowledge of skills that can be used in the workforce after high school,” Floral Design and Horticulture teacher Ashley Stegemoeller says.


There are many classes available within the Ag department. “The shop classes are very popular, along with our floral class, and of course our introductory class is popular with the freshmen,” Stegemoeller says. 


“Even if you did not take Ag as a freshman, that does not count you out from being in an Ag class. Depending on the focus area you are interested in, go talk to the teacher that teaches that class.” 


Mr. Smith teaches shop classes; Ms. Stegemoeller teaches plant classes, and Ms. Howard teaches animal classes.


There are many advantages to taking any Ag class. “Shop is very beneficial, those types of hand on skills are critical to do those jobs out in the field. With floral design, there are a lot of job opportunities in high school and on into college,” Stegemoeller says.


“The biggest thing is technical skills, knowing how to apply a skill, not just knowing how to do it, but doing it.”


If students find themselves enjoying a class enough, there are many opportunities for them to extend their experiences by competing in a CDE in their preferred focus area. “CDE’s stand for career development events which are evaluation teams that use skills learned in class to evaluate a skill that’s been performed by someone that could be out in the workforce,” Stegemoeller says. 


“Livestock is a big one. A lot of people like the Vet Science and Vet Med events especially those who know that they want to go into that field.”


However CDE’s aren’t just limited to evaluation type events. There are also many even options for students who prefer organization, preparing speeches, or presentations related to agriculture. 


Aside from the invaluable experience one has to gain from an Ag class, participation also provides a strong community for students. When asked to briefly describe the department Stegemoeller says, “In general I would say very supportive. Anyone involved in Ag directly or even indirectly is very supportive and understanding.”


So as this year comes to a close and the preparation starts for the next one, I highly encourage you to consider joining an Ag class.