Hartford Area Career & Technology Center
My name is Jesse Cutting; I am from Hanover High School and am a senior in the Natural Resources class at the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center. I came to the class interested in only logging and other forestry work. When I began the class, I just wanted to learn about forestry and was closed minded to anything else. But, throughout the year and a half I have been in the class, I have learned so much more than just forestry and that is all because of our teacher Tom Ostler. In class, we have done units on glaciers, soils, forestry and much more.
As a class, we go to two competitions during our senior year. One of them, in the fall, is the soil judging competition at Vermont Technical College. We judge various soil pits at this competition and are scored against numerous other schools. In the winter, we go to a winter forestry competition. At the forestry competition, we have to identify various trees from only a twig, as well as insect identification and maple syrup grading. During the school year we do a lot of class work to prepare for these competitions.
In Natural Resources we also work with various pieces of equipment which we are trained to use in the program. On job sites, set up by Mr. Ostler, we use these pieces of equipment to do site work and some clearing. We have three pieces of heavy equipment in our program: a bulldozer, excavator, and a tractor. Along with these pieces of equipment, we each have our own chainsaw, which we must clean and maintain throughout the year. To make sure we all know how to use the heavy equipment, we rotate through each piece in groups of four to five every couple of days.
I like the class because it is hands on and we learn real skills that we will use for the rest of our lives.