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Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

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The Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) Career Cluster® focuses on the essential elements of life—food, water, land and air. This career cluster includes a diverse spectrum of occupations, ranging from farmer, rancher and veterinarian to geologist, land conservationist and florist.

Programs of study

Animal Science

Animal Science Program of Study

The Animal Science program of study focuses on the science, research and business of animals and other living organisms. It teaches students how to apply biology and life science to real-world life processes of animals and wildlife, either in laboratories or in the field, which could include a veterinary office, a farm or ranch, or any outdoor area harboring animal life. Students may also research and analyze the growth and destruction of species and research or diagnose diseases and injuries of animals.

Course pathway

LevelCampus pathwayGRCTC pathway
18A100
Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

8A100
Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

2

8A110S
Small Animal Management, and/or

8A230S
Equine Science

8A110S
Small Animal Management, and/or

8A230S
Equine Science, and/or

8A220
Livestock Production

3

8A220
Livestock Production

8A940
Veterinary Medical Applications/Lab

4

8A410, 8A415 DC
Advanced Animal Science, and/or

8A320
Practicum in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

8A950
Practicum in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

Potential careers

OccupationsMedian wageAnnual openings% Growth
Animal Breeders$39,135289%
Animal Scientists$57,5332212%
Medical Scientists$63,89843527%
Veterinarians$93,49629424%
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists$67,3094532%

Postsecondary options

Below is a list of potential career certifications for a student interested in this pathway.

Education levelOptions
HS Dual Credit/Industry Certification
  • Licensed Veterinary Technician
  • Feedyard Technician in Cattle Care and Handling**
  • Certified Veterinary Assistant***
  • OSHA 30-hour General Industry**
  • CCMR Dual Credit**
Certificate/License*
  • Pet Groomer
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Licensed Breeder
Associate's Degree
  • Food Science and Technology
  • Veterinary Studies
  • Biotechnology Laboratory Technician
  • Biology Technician
Bachelor's Degree
  • Animal Sciences
  • Agriculture
  • Biology
  • Zoology/ Animal Biology
Master's/Doctoral Degree
  • Genetics
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Biological and Physical Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

*Additional industry-based certification information is available from the TEA CTE website.

**Offered at GISD campuses
***Offered at the GRCTC

For more information on post-secondary options for this pathway, visit the TXCTE website.

Expanded learning opportunities

One of the best ways to acquire experience in your chosen career is by engaging in exploration activities, work-based learning, or by joining a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO).

Exploration activities
  • Join the Texas FFA
Work-based learning activities
  • Participate in an Agri-Science Fair
  • Participate in 4H
  • Volunteer at a local farm or veterinary office
  • FFA-supervised agriculture experience (SAE)
Applied Agricultural Engineering

Applied Agricultural Engineering Program of Study

The Applied Agricultural Engineering program of study explores the occupations and educational opportunities associated with applying knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing agricultural products. This program of study may also include exploration into diagnosing, repairing, or overhauling farm machinery and vehicles, such as tractors, harvesters, dairy equipment, and irrigation systems.

Course pathway

Note: This pathway is only available at Garland HS (GHS).

LevelGHS  pathway
1

8A100
Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

2

8A200
Agricultural Mechanics and Metal Technologies, and/or

8A360
Agricultural Structures Design and Fabrications

3

8A210
Agricultural Power Systems, and/or

8A307
Agricultural Equipment Design and Fabrication

4

8A320
Practicum in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

Potential careers

OccupationsMedian wageAnnual openings% Growth
Outdoor Power Equipment and Other Small Engine Mechanics$32,40636616%
Welders$41,3506,1719%
Farm Equipment Mechanics and Service Technicians$39,91530417%
Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics$47,2991,62716%
Agricultural Engineers$64,792913%

Postsecondary options

Below is a list of potential career certifications for a student interested in this pathway.

Education levelOptions
HS/Industry Certification
  • OSHA 30 Hour General Industry
  • Feedyard Technician in Machinery, Operation, Repair and Maintenance
  • AWS SENSE Welding Level 1, AWS D1.1 Structural Steele, AWS D9.1 Sheet Metal **
  • NCCER Core Certification**
Certificate/License*
  • Certified Professional Agronomist
  • Certified Reliability Engineer
  • Certified Irrigation Designer
  • Fluid Power Mobile Hydraulic Mechanic
Associate's Degree
  • Heavy Equipment Maintenance Technology/Technician
  • Agricultural Mechanization, General
  • Small Engine Mechanics and Repair Technology/Technician
  • Welding Technology/Welder
Bachelor's Degree
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Agricultural Mechanization, General
Master's/Doctoral Degree
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Agricultural Mechanization, General

*Additional industry-based certification information is available from the TEA CTE website.

**Offered at GHS

For more information on post-secondary options for this program of study, visit the TXCTE website.

Expanded learning opportunities

One of the best ways to acquire experience in your chosen career is by engaging in exploration activities, work-based learning, or by joining a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO).

Exploration activities
  • Tour a farm, products, or machinery plant
  • Join the Texas FFA
Work-based learning activities
  • Earn a welding certification
  • Intern at a farm, products, or machinery plant
  • FFA-supervised agriculture experience (SAE)
Plant Science

Plant Science Program of Study

The Plant Science program of study focuses on the science, research, and business of plants and other living organisms. It teaches students how to apply biology and life science to real-world life processes of plants and vegetation, either in laboratories or in the field.

Course pathway

Note: This pathway is only available at Naaman Forest HS (NFHS).

LevelNFHS pathway
1

8A100
Principles of Agriculture, Food and Natural resources, and/or

8A170
Horticultural Science

2

8A130S
Landscape Design

8A140S
Turf Grass Management

8A270
Greenhouse Operation and Production

8A160
Floral Design

3

8A240
Advanced Floral Design

8A418
Advanced Plant and Soil Science

4

8A320
Practicum in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

Potential careers

OccupationsMedian wageAnnual openings% Growth
Soil and Plant Scientists$54,66211621%
Tree Trimmers and Pruners$32,24058914%
Pesticide Handlers, Sprayers, and Applicators$36,73319622%
Landscaping Supervisors$44,40880719%
Biological Technicians$42,93145217%

Postsecondary options

Below is a list of potential career certifications for a student interested in this pathway.

Education levelOptions
HS/Industry Certification
  • Landscape Irrigation Technician License
  • Commercial/Noncommercial Pesticide Applicator
  • Texas State Floral Association Level One Floral Certification**
  • Texas State Floral Association Level Two Floral Certification
Certificate/License*
  • Pesticide Applicator
  • Certified Floral Designer
  • Accredited Member of AIFD
  • Landscape Industry Certified Technician
Associate's Degree
  • Applied Horticulture/Horticulture Operations, General
  • Ornamental Horticulture
  • Agricultural Business and Management, General
  • Turf and Turfgrass Management
Bachelor's Degree
  • Applied Horticulture/Horticulture Operations, General
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Agricultural Business and Management, General
  • Turf and Turfgrass Management
Master's/Doctoral Degree
  • Applied Horticulture/Horticulture Operations, General
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Agricultural Business and Management, General
  • Farm/Farm and Ranch Management

*Additional industry-based certification information is available from the TEA CTE website.

**Added and offered at NFHS

For more information on post-secondary options for this program of study, visit the TXCTE website.

Expanded learning opportunities

One of the best ways to acquire experience in your chosen career is by engaging in exploration activities, work-based learning, or by joining a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO).

Exploration activities
  • Join the Texas FFA
Work-based learning activities
  • Work part-time at a florist
  • Start or work for a local landscaping business
  • FFA-supervised agriculture experience (SAE)
Students tending a garden

Graduation planning

Endorsement: Business & Industry

See course descriptions and additional information on the high school course descriptions page.