Parker County Today PCT June 2018 - Page 61

our youth: AG STARS Peaster Ag Science Center — Where Greatness Begins Story and Photos By MARSHA BROWN Peaster’s Ag Science Department Gets Students Ready For the Workforce I t’s a warm, breezy day and most students at Peaster High School are in the last few days of the spring semester, a time when most of the students can tell you exactly how many hours stand between their classes and summer vacation.  Paul Casey is serving as a tour guide, pointing out points of interest of and around the Agricultural Science Building to this reporter and Jim Martin, a local cattle- man, real estate developer, and an enthusiastic supporter of the program that has given Peaster High School state- wide fame.  Casey is a remarkably good tour guide, but, after all, this was his professional home for a lot of years and he’s not going to let a little thing like a big promotion stand between him and showing off his bright students and a great facility.  According to Casey, about two-thirds of the high school students are enrolled in the agriculture program. There are 191 unduplicated students doing only one Ag event, but most of them participate in multiple events.  Peaster has one of the best Ag Mechanic programs in the state, and probably the nation, according to Martin. “There are a lot of students that aren’t cut out for college,” Casey said. “Being skilled and ready for the workforce is so important for them to thrive.” The Computerized Numeric Control lab is a state- of-the-art and extremely popular portion of the Ag Technology Center. “Here we teach students skills for the 21st century work- force,” he said. “That includes computer design and drawing, current and relevant design and fabrication skills, and modern use of technology along with mainte- nance and system repair. The lab allows us to incorpo- rate modern and current fabrication technology into our projects, which will increase quality, precision, degree of difficulty, and diversity of projects constructed. This equipment has greatly expanded the skills of Peaster students beyond traditional welding and fabrication, giving them a huge advantage over their peers when applying for jobs in the skilled-trades after graduation.” There is another reason why Martin is an enthusiastic supporter of the Peaster Ag Technology program. “They have an outstanding shop. I’m a big fan of the shop,” he said. “When I was in high school I was in a Continued on page 92 59