Academy for Sciences and Agriculture continues to help students learn and grow


Part of the AFSA curriculum includes service days where students help give back to the community.

Students learn inside the Academy for Sciences and Agriculture’s on-campus greenhouse.

AFSA currently serves students in grades 5-12.

Randall’s Apiary is just one example of the entrepreneurial projects students take on at AFSA. He is a beekeeper who sells honey, candles, lip balm and more.

The academy prepares students for careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture, and beyond

 

Not every school can say it grows its own lunchroom lettuce, but Academy for Sciences and Agriculture High School can. Growing 750 heads at a time in its own greenhouse, it’s just one aspect of a normal school day at AFSA.

Located in Vadnais Heights, the charter school has offered a quality Minnesota education with an added agricultural context since 2001. In addition to the standard math, English, social studies and Spanish courses, AFSA provides opportunities to study plant science, food science, animal science, environmental science and engineering.

But why focus on this type of learning? Simply, Minnesota has plenty of corn, cows and more, and those types of assets mean jobs. According to Executive Director Becky Meyer, agriculture-related careers play a vital role in the state’s economy. 

“We have some of the major Minnesota agricultural businesses’ headquarters right here,” Meyer says. “They are all major players in the agriculture world, and they need workers.”

CHS, Cargill, General Mills and Land O’Lakes are just a handful of the many Twin Cities-based agricultural businesses that provide grants and funding for the school. AFSA makes sure its students know of these nearby opportunities while preparing them for futures outside the classroom. 

Every student becomes a member of the National FFA Organization. With more than 600,000 FFA members in the country, the membership is yet another opportunity for leadership and learning not found in other schools.

“You can only go into careers you know about,” Meyer says. “We exist to make sure students are aware of those opportunities.”

While not all students pursue an agricultural career, the knowledge they gain while at AFSA can help them become more informed consumers and active citizens in their own lives. 

On top of these many prospects, agriculture is by no means the only attraction at the school. It also features College in the Schools classes, athletics, a robotics team, theater programs, metals and welding courses and even a 3D printer.

In every sense, Academy for Sciences and Agriculture High School offers the “typical” high school experience, with a few extra advantages. Now approved to expand to Pre-K, the school continues to grow. 

Offering a well-rounded education for Twin Cities students, AFSA opens a unique window of learning into Minnesota’s agricultural world, all in your own backyard. 

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