The current Agriculture Program is housed in a 17-acre facility approximately three miles from the Mooney Boulevard campus. The livestock, equine and horticulture departments operate fully-functioning units that provide students with authentic hands-on experiences.
The Livestock Unit maintains swine, beef cattle and sheep herds, culminating in sales throughout the year. The herds are held in pastures and corrals at the current Visalia farm and the new Tulare site. Students have the opportunity to observe and work in each unit, developing their skills as they perform tasks that are critical to the health and well-being of the animals.
The Equine Unit provides horses for equestrian classes and for the women's equestrian team, which is the only community college team in California . The team competes in IHSA-sanctioned shows with colleges that include California Polytechnic College San Luis Obispo and Stanford University , among others. The Visalia farm maintains a working A-I lab, grazing pastures and a riding arena for instruction and practice.
The Horticulture Lab is a functioning nursery that is open to the public five days a week. Included in the facilities are one propagation house, one shade house and two temperature and humidity-controlled green houses. The nursery stocks plant material that includes indoor, outdoor landscaping and fruit bearing plants.
The Welding Shop is well-equipped with 13 welding stations, 13 welding booths, five forges, and computer-controlled plasma cutter (PlasmaCAM) for all ag technology classes as well. Large-scale projects can be accommodated in the facility.
Six classrooms , including a science lab, are located at the current Farm Lab. In addition, the Farm Lab also maintains an off-site specialty vet tech lab for practical hands-on experience and an up-to-date computer lab with 30 workstations that are loaded with various dairy management and landscape design software.
A fully-equipped veterinary clinic classroom, located off-site at 442 South Goddard, gives vet tech students real-world, hands-on experience in a clinical setting.
The Future of the Agriculture Campus
In January 2013, the COS Agriculture Laboratory will relocate to a new 500-acre campus in Tulare, where construction, is underway. The completed facility will house livestock and equine facilities, a commercial dairy, a full-service plant nursery and growing houses, acreage for varied student enterprise crops, student shops, and formal classroom space.