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North Linn agriculture building turns farming into hands-on learning

HS journalism: Program will benefit FFA and agriculture students

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By Veronica Jons, North Linn junior

TROY MILLS — North Linn Community School District is breaking educational ground, literally and metaphorically.

The district is moving forward with an agricultural building to house a cow, swine and chickens for a hands on learning experience.

Future Farmers of America (FFA) is an organization students participate in throughout schools across the United States. Many of the students come from families with multiple generations of farmers. It’s an organization that provides much more than what meets the eye.

North Linn’s FFA program is dedicated to providing authentic learning experiences to its students by providing the opportunity to work with live animals. In previous years, FFA members have housed a sow on school grounds in the greenhouse. Taking it a step further, the FFA and the agricultural department now are constructing a building on the campus to provide students with more hands-on learning experience.

North Linn is going above and beyond to provide FFA members with a realistic dream of helping the community like a real-life farmer would.

Over the summer, FFA officers searched for companies and organizations willing to donate to this cause, helping with education in the community and going beyond just the students of North Linn. Some of North Linn’s students had the dream to build a small barn to to help care for livestock on school grounds.

North Linn already had the greenhouse, helping students learn more about crop production, but the barn would teach students more about livestock. Barn blueprints were made to hold two cows, a sow and eight chickens.

After many months of trying to raise enough money, the dream is starting to become a reality. The entire North Linn student body was in attendance on Sept. 8 to watch the groundbreaking ceremony for the new building. FFA president Brock Henderson, treasurer Lucas Bates — along with sponsors from Walker State Bank, Community Savings Bank and Hills Bank and Trust Company — attended and helped dig where the barn will be with gold painted shovels.

The building could be completed by the end of fall, allowing FFA members in early spring to raise a bull calf, two sows and four chickens. This project couldn’t have been possible without the help of sponsors, new superintendent Chris Fenster, staff support and principal Scott Beaty. Anyone still interested in donating or helping sponsor the North Linn FFA chapter, please contact the school by calling (319) 224-3291 or email tmurray@northlinncsd.org.

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