By: Ethan Poidevin, PAC Pulse Staff Reporter
Most people are not aware of just how important agriculture is in everyday life. One event that highlights this importance is the annual San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. I interviewed the professor behind preparing students for this impactful experience, Ty Chumbley, who dedicates his time and expertise to the success of this event. The agriculture program is a fundamental program at Palo Alto College.
Ty Chumbley, who is the department manager of agriculture and going on his sixth year of teaching agriculture at Palo Alto College, continues to spread his expertise throughout all the agriculture science courses. Being the only agriculture faculty on PAC allows him to teach agriculture in his own way without having to compete with other faculty’s lessons. He has students who will compete on a national level with other colleges such as Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and LSU. Those students will be a part of the PAC Animal Science Program. This year is extra special, because this year is the first year PAC has started a horse judging program that will eventually compete nationally with other colleges around the state of Texas.
Since he first arrived at PAC, Ty Chumbley has witnessed the agriculture program grow significantly. The agriculture department had only around eight students, but now on his sixth year, the agriculture department has grown to over eighty students.
When it comes to the recent San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, PAC’s Agriculture department played a significant role in making the event a huge success. Not only does the rodeo give out $80,000 in scholarships for first time AG students, as students transfer out of Palo Alto College, there is also a transfer scholarship of $25,000 in funds as those students move on to the next step in their lives. PAC’s AG program is the only one of its kind in Bexar County, so the rodeo gives the opportunity to stand out among the millions of participants and allows the students to work hand in hand with other AG departments. The students at PAC took part in internship roles as well as competitors. They were part of the Swine skill-a-thon, the Meat Skill-a-thon, and the Beef Skill-a-thon. They also served as interns for the Pepper show, Market Lamb show, Breeding show, and the Market steer show. The AG students are all “well rounded” as Ty Chumbley would say, with hands on knowledge of many aspects of agriculture.
A huge goal that is on its way for the AG department is to have their own facility in terms of arenas and eventually in the coming years have a full stock show and rodeo here at Palo Alto College. With the continued attention that the AG department is getting with the help of the students being recognized as one of the top interns at the recent stock show and rodeo, this goal is getting closer and closer to becoming a reality.
With San Antonio being home to some of the largest collection of agriculture programs at the high school level, PAC takes the effort to recruit many students to help further grow the department at Palo Alto College as a whole. This furthers the goal of PAC having their own rodeo on the campus itself. PAC’s AG program is actually the only AG program at the college level in Bexar County, so it is important that it continues to grow larger as the years go on. The biggest thing that PAC brings to the rodeo each year is that their AG program is a very hands-on program. Rather than being in the classroom, the students are outside, working with animals, working with the industry, and allowing the opportunity for those students to get jobs in agriculture such as in animal science, veterinarian, food science, etc.
PAC’s agriculture program is committed to allowing students to gain the experience necessary to be a part of those industries. To learn more about this amazing program, visit alamo.edu/pac/agriculture.
For more information you can contact Ty Chumbley here:
San Marcos Hall (SANMAR 107F)