Students of the California High School agriculture department should soon be able to have some practical application of some of the classes, which up to now, have been mostly theoretical.
The ag department plan is to fence one and a half acres of school grounds to the south and west of the current ag buildings. A 30-by-40-foot pole barn mostly is completed. When finished, with a 10-foot, lean-to on each side, four animal science classes will have manageable hands-on learning to help the students learn the different aspects of animal husbandry.
The pole barn is the work of the Ag Structure Class, taught by Adam Bieri. The barn, the lean-to additions and the fenced area will bring the California ag department up to the level of many other Central Missouri ag programs which have a livestock learning lab, or in some cases, an actual school farm.
The ag program already has spaces for hands-on learning in the shop and greenhouse. The school animal learning lab will provide the same experience with livestock, although it is not intended for the permanent housing of animals.
The cost is estimated to be about $9,000. The FFA chapter plans to pay for the project, as well as providing the labor for the project. Work began in the spring, and will continue in the fall as school starts. City and school officials have approved, or will approve, setting posts.
Some of the learning aspects that would benefit from the actual presence of animals include, sheep shearing, vaccination methods, checking cows for pregnancy and castrating calves. The learning lab should also be helpful in demonstrations for showing animals at the fair, judging and evaluating animals and a petting zoo for elementary students.