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story.lead_photo.caption Just below the Pinto water tower sits the learning barn at California High School. The barn, which was built almost entirely by students in agriculture structures class, will hold farm animals for students in agriculture classes to learn more about how to properly care for them. Photo by Liz Morales / California Democrat.

Students enrolled in animal science classes at California High School will be able to get up close and personal with farm animals. This experience will not be a field trip for the students, but a more permanent fixture in the curriculum.

Just last spring, the agriculture structures class worked together to build a learning barn. When in full operation, the barn will host farm animals for students to get a better understanding of the creatures. CHS Agriculture teacher Adam Bieri said this will be a necessary change of pace for his students.

"Before, all we would do was just talk talk talk about the animals," Bieri said. "I'd just be able to show them pictures of the animals online, and not be able to really go past that point. The thought process on this barn is to give the kids a place to have hands-on activity with the (farm) animals."

Bieri said more of his students live in town, therefore they do not have the opportunity to be exposed to the animals they are studying.

"They just don't have the resources they need to learn all they can," he said. "When the barn is up and running, it'll give the kids a good, safe spot to give the animals shots, learn to take care of them and just work on them."

The construction for this barn was almost completely done by his agriculture structures students. All, that is, except ten nails Bieri hammered in the roof.

"This fall we ended up putting a tent on the shed," Bieri said. "We're going to have pens and housing for the animals. Our hope is to add a little more to the barn each year."

While the barn is making sound progress, there is no definite time frame for the barn to be completed. This understanding is based solely on the weather conditions Mid-Missouri has been facing. However, once the air settles, students will pour concrete and put finishing touches on this new project.

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