PLEASANT HILL, Ore. -- Pleasant Hill High School is helping prepare students for a career in animal sciences or agriculture through a unique program that starts as early as eighth grade.
Students get the opportunity to explore what it's like to work in a variety of positions that deal with plants and animals -- jobs like ranch manager, veterinarian, biologist, soil scientist, farmer and a lot more.
Angela White, who teaches agricultural sciences at Pleasant Hill, said jobs like these will continue to become more and more vital as the world's population increases.
"Basically, as the population of the world is growing, our demand for food production has increased, and the worldwide trend is there's becoming less and less agricultural land to grow, so efficiency and production have to be maximized in the area that's left to grow," White said.
White said the program also offers certifications, which can help propel students into higher pay brackets as they transition into the workforce.
Student Cody Morrell said this program is opening their eyes to opportunities they'd never considered.
"A lot of our class is inspired by ag to do something in agriculture," Morrell said. "These kids that don't know what they want to do, they're kind of lost, they come into this class and get real-life experience, and it really makes them look forward to the future and the real-life job opportunities for them."
The school is raising funds right now to build a new 40-by-50-foot greenhouse to expand the range of skills students learn.