Pilcher recognized for promoting agriculture


Angel Pilcher holds two of the chickens she raises that split their time between her farm and the chicken coops at CHHS.

Angel Pilcher, who was recognized April 27 as the Mississippi Farm Bureau Teacher of the Year, attended the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Kansas City Missouri this summer.

“This is a huge honor that will open up many doors for our gardening program,” Pilcher said. “This position will help us to network with others in this field who can aid in research and grant funding.”

The Farm Bureau award is for teachers who promote agriculture in the classroom, which Pilcher does in a variety of ways at CHHS.

“We have vegetable, flower and herb gardens, as well as a greenhouse, aquaponics, vermicomposting, and most recently ducks and guineas,” she said.

Pilcher also raises Rhode Island Red, Americana, Black Sex-Link, Catalana, Bantam and Barred Rock chickens, some of which spend some time in chicken coops at the school.

“I have 55 at home but 18 that I switch out in the coops here,” she said. “This gives them a chance to free range on their days off.”

Having chickens at school is a way for students to study the life cycle, Pilcher said.

“Because we hatch chicks in our incubator, the class is able to experience the life cycle of a chicken from birth to maturity where they produce or fertilize their own eggs,” said Pilcher, who teaches Nutrition and Wellness and Resource Management. “We also use the eggs in our cooking labs and the students learn how to raise and handle chickens.”