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Snake River High class gets real-world experience at Idaho Ag Outlook Seminar

By John O’Connell

University of Idaho

Students in Snake River High School teacher Mimi Argyle’s Agriculture 104 course witnessed the real-world applications of lessons they’re learning in class during a recent field trip to an Idaho Ag Outlook Seminar, organized by University of Idaho.  

Seminars analyzing how Idaho agriculture performed during 2023 and predicting how the state’s farms, ranches and dairies will fare in 2024 were hosted Dec. 12 in Idaho Falls, Dec. 13 in Twin Falls, Dec. 14 in Nampa and Dec. 19 in Lewiston.

Argyle and her class logged on when U of I hosted its 2022 Ag Outlook Seminars virtually, following the COVID-19 pandemic. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to bring 16 students to Idaho Falls and interact live with the expert presenters, with this year’s seminars being offered in-person once again.

“There are lots of instances in high school when students ask, ‘When am I going to use this in real life?’ The benefit of this seminar is it shows how this class pertains to real life in agriculture,” Argyle said in between lectures in Idaho Falls.

Snake River High School is located in an agrarian community in eastern Idaho, where many students come from agricultural backgrounds and agriculture drives the local economy.

Snake River’s Ag 104 course has been offered since 2022 for dual credit through the College of Southern Idaho, based in Twin Falls. The course focuses on the management side of agriculture, and many of the topics covered during the seminar mirrored content in Argyle’s syllabus.

“This is only the third week of class – it’s the very beginning – but we will cover budgets, balance sheets, marketing, futures, estate planning and many other ag business concepts. So this is a really good introduction to the remainder of the class,” Argyle said. 

Snake River High junior Luke Evans participated in both the 2022 virtual seminar and the recent in-person seminar as a member of Argyle’s class.

Evans’ father and both of his grandfathers farm, and the seminars have given him insight into the family business. Evans hopes to work either as a farmer or an agricultural engineer.

“It helped me realize what happens in the real world and what happens on the management side that you don’t always see,” Evans said. "When we went over this last year, I went home and talked with my dad and figured out how this applied to us and if our operation followed the same graphs and went up when the market went up. I understand more about what’s going on.”

Visit Idaho AgBiz – -- for information on farm management resources offered by the University of Idaho.