Clovis East Opens New Facility at McFarlane-Coffman Agriculture Center

Superintendent of Clovis Unified School District Dr. Eimear O’Brien (middle) cuts the ribbon opening the new facility at the McFarlane-Coffman Agriculture Center. (Left to right, Deputy Superintendent Norm Anderson, Dr. O’Brien, 12th Grader Devin Majors)

The McFarlane-Coffman Agriculture Center has added a newly modeled building that will house farm and food product activities. 

The classes offered at the Farm and Food Product Facility are a part of Clovis Unified’s Career Technical Education pathways or CTE program. The Agriculture Center provides hands-on, real-world learning environments that mimic potential careers in the agriculture sector.

The new building provides students the opportunity to “do industry level work” when working with products from agricultural crops that are also worked with at the high school. 

“By having the Food/Science laboratory, our outlet is-we can take peaches, nectarines, any of those stone fruits and we can further process them into preserved food items,” said agriculture teacher Aireal Covery. “And then that way we are putting everything to use and nothing goes to waste.”

The Floral Design Lab, another sector of the new building, is an additional space for students to work with floral designs in what she calls “a small business.” 

“Having an adequate space for those students to be able to work and create floral designs for larger events-wedding, community events, lots of school events is really important,.” Covey said. 

There is a covered patio area in the new facility that provides an opportunity for not only purchases of flowers, but other products as well for those in walking distance of Clovis East High School.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes over time, but this is something that we definitely needed,” summarized Covey when talking about the building.

The group who attended the event were treated to a barbecue, arranged flowers by the floral department of Clovis East High School, and a tour of the building and its amenities. There were two separate rooms, one located for the floral department as Covey described and another for the food science and processing lab. 

This was in addition to a walk-in freezer on the premises and the covered patio area that was used as the dining area for guests. In both the food science lab and floral design lab, different tools, counters, and machines were set in place, ready to use for a multitude of students and classes. 

These included ovens, a meat grinder, a smoker, a dehydrator, and even a candy maker.

The night ended with students from the Ag program thanking those for support during their tour of the building. 

The plan is to get the building into working order from that moment on as students already began providing assistance by taking down the tables and chairs that were set up for the event as patrons left.

With this new building, Clovis East looks to continue the stream of excellence it has had in its agricultural program.

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.