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Unique Partnership Cultivates Real Life Opportunities

By Ashton Henslee

A new program is sprouting between the Agriculture Department and the Family and Consumer Sciences Department in order to provide students the opportunity to participate in a farm to table program.

“Students think their food just comes from the grocery store,” FACS teacher Emily Daniel said. “Farmers produce all of your crops and meat, not the grocery store.”

Agriculture teacher James Asher said this type of program is important because there will be approximately 9 billion people needing to be fed by 2050.

The Agriculture Department’s role is to produce crops and raise various animals.

Asher said they will use a hydroponics system to grow the produce. This system grows plants with only water and a plant nutrient.

Asher said hydroponics can grow food ten times faster, inside, year round and throughout all the seasons, and produce higher yields. 

“We have tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce growing right now in our hydroponics system,” Asher said.

Asher said as far as the animals being raised to use for this program, there is a cow/calf pair and a feeder pig. Students are also raising goats and chickens for milk and eggs.

“The Agriculture building is raising a feeder steer that both classes, Prostart and Animal Science, we will take to the butcher and watch it be processed hopefully,” Daniel said.

Daniel said all the produce and meat will go to all the intro and Prostart classes to cook in a variety of meals.

“This is a really cool idea and opportunity to be involved in the farm to table program,” said Madison Chandler, a senior Prostart student.

Junior Animal Science student Wyatt Kanan said he really likes being part of this program.

“This will show many students how much agriculture plays a part on Earth,” he said.

The program hopes to expand in the future.

“The future goals of this program is that all the food comes from the Agriculture Department,” Daniel said.