Lincoln University ag students get hands-on learning

Chyler Hughes plants carrots on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, at Dickinson Research Center in Jefferson City. Hughes is an officer of the Agriculture Club and Future Farmers of America (FFA) at Lincoln University. (Eileen Wisniowicz/News Tribune photo)

Agriculture students at Lincoln University got their hands dirty Tuesday during a new class experience.

A class of mostly freshmen and sophomore students participated in the weekly Agriculture Literacy class offered by LU's Agriculture Department at the Dickinson Research Facility.

"We want the students to get a hands-on experience, especially for those who want to go into this field after they graduate," faculty instructor Kimberly Cash said.

The students began the afternoon with a slideshow presentation introducing them to different facts about soil and proper techniques when planting for different seasons.

Next, it was time to get dirty.

The students planted new seeds and also picked plants from the facility's community garden. Some also got to pluck fruit from the fruit trees using special tools to reach into the tall trees.

"Things like this experience are great, especially for students like me that retain information better hands on rather just sitting in class and hearing a teacher just lecture," freshman Imani Butler said.

Ag professor Jessica Epple said the garden was created to offer alternative learning options for LU students.

Some students at Tuesday's event talked about the importance of this type of experience for those outside the ag world as well.

"I think everyone should be introduced to something like this," LU senior Austin Branch said. "This can benefit us into a healthier lifestyle, teaching us how to grow and maintain our own fruits, vegetables and plants."

Freshman Marissa Holler said she grew up on a farm, so being able to be interact hands on with planting was something she was happy Lincoln provided.

With help from the Missouri Master Gardeners, the LU department plans to offer these hands-on classes every week to introduce students to various ag-related tasks.

  photo  Eileen Wisniowicz/News Tribune photo: Britney Ankton, left, takes a gardening shovel from Chyler Hughes on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, at Dickinson Research Center in Jefferson City. Ankton planted radishes while Hughes planted carrots.
  photo  Eileen Wisniowicz/News Tribune photo: Deanna Plummer picks a pear on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, at Dickinson Research Center in Jefferson City. Plummer attended Lincoln University's College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences' (CAEHS) second Agricultural Literacy Event where the theme was soil and plants. One activity for students was picking fresh pears and apples.