New agriculture classes coming to PCHS

Vocational Ag committee member Rick Jansen and Principal Dan Van Kooten present information on the Vocation Ag program at the special society meeting held January 16.

by Jared DeVries

There is good news for any PC students who are interested in agriculture. On January 16, the Vocational Ag program was approved by 82% of the 177 people present at a special school society meeting. Because of this, many new classes that involve agriculture will be offered to students this fall.

Many are optimistic that the program will bring further success to PC and its students. Principal Dan Van Kooten believes this program will be an opportunity to offer students a look at agriculture through scripture. “I’m thrilled to serve students and their families who have wanted an Ag program for a long time,” said Van Kooten.

Many aspects of the program still must be decided, such as which classes to offer at the start of the year, and whether to wait until after Christmas break to start the program.  The school also needs to find an instructor with expertise in agriculture who also has a strong Christian faith. “Up until this fall, I wasn’t convinced, but the more I talk about it and see it, the more I realize how suited (this program) is to a Christian school,” said Van Kooten.

The school is hoping to raise $500,000 to completely fund the program for the first three to five years. According to Van Kooten, after these years, tuition will increase by $250- 300 to support the program. There is no plan to begin an addition to the building until at least three years into the program, but an estimate places the cost at around $1 million. Until then, classes will most likely be held in the chemistry lab, the industrial arts shop, and the government room.

The program will eventually offer a wide variety of classes to students of all grade levels, including plant science, animal science, and food science and safety. “I hope that eventually all students can find a class in the program they want to take,” said Van Kooten.

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