JR Pierce - Ag. Ed

Phone: 406-686-4621


Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. JR Pierce

 Hi! My name is J.R. Pierce. I am orginally from Belt, MT. where my family has been ranching from the base of the Highwood Mtns. since the 1880's. In high school I was involved in FFA, Basketball, Football, and Rodeo. I was lucky enough to rodeo for MSU, GO CATS!!! during my years in college. I have taught and coached basketball in Bainville and Melstone before making my way to the Shields Valley. From my FFA experience I understand the rich tradition that is the Shields Valley FFA. I am excited to have an opportunity on making an impact in this community.

Courses Taught

  • Vo-Ag 1
  • Vo-Ag 2
  • Vo-Ag 3 & 4
  • Ag. Mechanics
  • Woods & Metal
  • JH Vo-Ag (semester)


Contact Info:

Email: jrpierce@shieldsvalleyschools.org

  • Agriculture Education I

    Ag-Ed I is designed to meet the needs of students who are interested in the agriculture industry whether it be production or agribusiness oriented.  It is required for first year FFA members. Skills and topics include: the history and scope of agriculture, introductory animal, plant, and soil sciences. They will also learn about careers in agriculture and FFA.  Students will also be exposed to a variety of shop activities including equipment safety, materials and processing, and welding SMAW processes.  Students will be required to participate in a Supervised Agriculture Experience.

    Agriculture Education II

     Ag-Ed II is designed to meet the needs of both production agriculture and agribusiness oriented students.  Students will participate in many activities including crop and range management, plant identification, sales and service fundamentals, the scientific process, animal anatomy, GPS, and prepared public speaking.  Students will continue to participate in a Supervised Agriculture Experience.

    Agriculture III & IV

    Ag-ED III & IV is a combination of applied sciences, mechanical skills, business applications and construction practices to further improve both production agriculture and agribusiness students.  Students will participate in a wide variety of activities including agricultural issues and policy, agricultural communications, food science, genetics, job interview, and horticultural sciences. 

    Ag Mechanics

    Ag-Ed IV is designed to meet the needs of students who plan to further their education as well as those who plan to seek employment upon graduation.  Students will participate in activities including advanced agribusiness, floriculture, small engines, leadership, and career skills.  Students will summarize their SAE by applying for their State FFA Degree.

    JH AgED/Tech

     This is an introduction to the high school agriculture program.  Students are introduced to a variety of agriculture practices.  Skills and topics include: the history and scope of agriculture, introductory animal, plant, and soil sciences. They will also learn about careers in agriculture and FFA.  Students are encouraged to become active in the SV FFA Chapter.

    Woods and Welding

    This course is designed to understand operations of AC and DC power sources, GMAW(MiG), welding polarities, heats and electrodes for use in joining various metal alloys by the arc welding process. In addition students will learn basic operations and applications of PLASMA CAM systems. The course will cover emerging technologies with business principles to allow students to apply cutting edge techniques to a wide variety of career paths. Students will cover the basic foundation of carpentry in system management, environmental quaility, energy effeciency, agriculture construction management, and machinery. Students will perform a semster shop project that is approved by instructor.


    Agriculture, Fiber, and Natural Resource (AFNR) Career Cluster Content Standards

    The agriculture, food and natural resources (AFNR) industry is a highly technical and ever-changing sector of the global economy upon
    which everyone is dependent. We will continue to meet national and global demand for a safe and abundant food, fiber and fuel supply if
    we invest in the growth and development of the human capital for the AFNR industry. Strong, relevant AFNR Career and Technical Education
    (CTE) programs that are informed by industry and education stakeholders are one way we can meet workforce needs now and in
    the future.

    The AFNR Career Cluster Content Standards provide state agricultural education leaders and educators with a high-quality, rigorous set
    of standards to guide what students should know and be able to do after completing a program of study in each of the following AFNR
    career pathways:

    1. Agribusiness Systems
    2. Animal Systems
    3. Biotechnology Systems
    4. Environmental Service Systems
    5. Food Products and Processing Systems
    6. Natural Resource Systems
    7. Plant Systems
    8. Power, Structural and Technical Systems

    These standards are used as a guide for the development of the curriculum and assessments for
    the Shields Valley High School Agricultural Education Department. These standards are intended to help shape
    the design of all components of an agricultural education program including:

    • Classroom and laboratory instruction.
    • Experiences through  the National FFA Organization 
    • Work-based learning experiences such as Supervised Agricultural
    Experience (SAE) Programs and internships.

    Just as agriculture varies throughout our nation and around the world, so will our agricultural education programs. Adoption and use of
    these standards is voluntary and they have been adapted to meet local needs. 

    Mission Statement:
    Agricultural education prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber, and natural resources systems.

    This agricultural education programs serves three major purposes. They are to prepare students for entry or advancement in agricultural occupations and professions, create jobs and entrepreneurship, and teach agricultural literacy. All three of these can be accomplished through equal involvement in these three areas:

    1.         Enrollment in an agriculture class and classroom/laboratory instruction
    2.         Participating in a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE)
    3.         Membership in the National FFA Organization (FFA)

    Students who are involved in this agricultural education program will gain skills and experiences that develop their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success. This student development then translates to an atmosphere of achievement and leadership in all areas of their education. The community also benefits from these programs by projects completed by service oriented students, products and services provided through SAE projects, and by having students with developed agricultural skills when they enter the work force. As you can see, this agricultural education program is designed to serve the needs of the students, the school and the community. 

    The National FFA Organization operates under a Federal Charter granted by the 81st Congress of the United States, and is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. FFA membership is limited to students who are enrolled in Agricultural Education courses and certain graduates. Because FFA is an intra-curricular activity (not extra-curricular) it is considered part of a class. If a student wants to join FFA, they must enroll in at least one Ag Ed class during the school year. There is no “way around” this policy – it is federal law.

     The “FFA Year” begins on the first day of school and ends on the last day of summer vacation. Therefore, a student enrolled in any Ag Ed class for the 2015-2016 school year (regardless of which semester or quarter) is eligible for FFA membership beginning on the first day of school and lasting throughout the entire school year and the following summer.

    Graduates who were FFA members during their senior year and participated in FFA for two years during high school may continue to be members of FFA. Graduate membership must be continuous membership; therefore, if a graduate decides not to retain membership, he or she may not change their mind later and re-join. Again, there is no “way around” this policy – it is federal law.  At Shields Valley, we generally encourage students planning to study agriculture in college, or students who show livestock, to retain their membership until the fourth National Convention after graduation. 

    The FFA motto illustrates the aspirations of all FFA members and is the frame work for our program. It is:

    Learning to Do
    Doing to Learn
    Earning to Live
    Living to Serve

    Learning to Do: Experiential Learning in the Classroom and the Laboratory

    Agricultural education is based on the experiential learning model. Experiential learning can be modeled using four major elements. The first is a concrete experience which provides the focal point for acquiring new knowledge or skills. In our agriculture classes this could be anything from dissecting a flower, or a sheep’s eye to calculating the forage available at a rangeland site.

    Next, students take part in reflective observation, becoming aware of feelings associated with the experience, and evaluation of the entire experience. Third, is abstract conceptualization where students connect their observations with knowledge from past experiences and from the instructor. During this stage, direct instruction, inquiry, and discussion is utilized.  The final stage of experiential learning is active experimentation, where students apply their generalizations from the learning experience to new situations.

    These four elements come together to create the optimal situation for learning. In fact, a well-designed concrete experience immediately engages students in the learning process better than any other strategy.

     Doing to Learn: Supervised Agricultural Experience

    As outlined above, each student will have a Supervised Agricultural Experience. This project will be in one of four areas: entrepreneurship, placement, exploration, or research. Each project must be agriculture related, involve personal work to be done by the student, and records must be kept. Click here for more information about SAEs. 

    Each student will have a project where they gain real world experience and have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learning in the classroom and laboratory.  Some examples are:

    •           Raising hens and selling the eggs to local grocers. (Entrepreneurship)
    •           Working as a clerk at a local feed store. (Placement)
    •           Job shadowing a meat inspector at a packing plant. (Exploratory)
    •           Conducting research on gene expression in tomato plants. (Research/Experimentation)

    SAE’s should be a reflection of the student’s interest and should show yearly improvement or expansion. This may include taking on additional responsibilities or increased production. It is recommended that students manage at least one project year-round.

    Each student in our program has complete control of their SAE project. After initial approval from the instructor, students will have full responsibility of their project, records and any money earned or spent. The instructor will serve only as a consultant and to monitor records. All students will be evaluated on their SAE in three ways. The first is involvement and proper record keeping.  The agriculture instructor will grade on keeping records up to date and maintaining a project year-round. Second, students will be evaluated on the yearly improvement and expansion of their project.  As students gain more knowledge/skills their projects should improve and will be evaluated as such.  Finally, all students will be required to submit a written reflection about their project and the knowledge and skills they’ve gained. 

     Earning to Live: Career Readiness

                Agricultural Education is a part of Career and Technical Education (CTE) which gives students skills and experience that will prepare them to enter a wide range of high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand careers. Beyond the classroom, students involved in the FFA are encouraged to participate in Career Development Events (CDE). These events evaluate students on their ability to think critically, communicate clearly, and perform effectively in a wide variety of agriculturally related careers. Some of these include:

    ·         Agricultural Sales
    ·         Veterinary Science
    ·         Marketing Plan
    ·         Livestock Judging
    ·         Nursery/landscape
    ·         Extemporaneous Public Speaking

    Living to Serve: Leadership

    FFA is the premier leadership agricultural organization for high schools students. Through the FFA students have the opportunity to participate in leadership development and to gain recognition through award and degree programs.

    The local FFA chapter is the basis of the National FFA Organization. Leadership at the local level includes an advisor, an advisory council and a chapter officer team.  The chapter officer team, with consent of the majority of the members and guided by a chapter constitution, will set the course of the chapter for the year they serve.  All students enrolled in agriculture courses are expected to be active members of the (Insert Chapter Name) chapter.  Students will be graded according to their participation in minimum number of FFA activities; however, students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities whenever possible 

    Some key activities include:
    •           Chapter meetings
    •           Degrees
    •           Career Development Event (CDE) Participation
    •           Participation in skill building such as parliamentary procedure and public speaking