The CVT Visits the CHS Agriculture Program

By Jerry Couch

Last Thursday afternoon, the CVT visited Zach Addington’s agriculture class at Castlewood High School.  The agriculture program and the Future Farmers of America, once staples of the school, have been reinvigorated.  This fact was amply demonstrated by the enthusiasm of Zach’s students.

04-19-2018 Zach Addington's class 2
Agriculture Instructor Zach Addington (back row) is proud of his program and its progress during its two years of operation.

Unlike former days, the class is not “boys only.”  The girls are well-represented, too.  Also, not all the program’s participants live on farms.  Each student is preserving our farming heritage by learning fundamental life skills in “real time.”  They are part of an important hands-on program that demonstrates how our food makes its way from farm to table.

In addition to the afternoon agriculture class we visited, there is a morning class as well.  On the day we were at the school, the morning class had visited a livestock farm where they observed and participated in the vaccination of cattle.

Pictures are always more descriptive than words, so let’s look at the students’ projects.

04-19-2018 Zach Addington's class 1
In this photo, the students are preparing bedding plants and hanging baskets which will be offered for sale to the public.  The wide selection of bedding plants will include tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, radishes, kale, squash, sunflowers, marigolds, zinnias, daisies, cypress vine, cosmos, four o’clocks, parsley, rosemary, and other herbs.  Money generated from the sale of hanging baskets and plants will help fund future programs.
04-19-2018 Fresh Eggs
Freshly-laid eggs from the students’ flock of Rhode Island Reds are also sold as a fundraiser.  I purchased this carton of eggs the day we visited the school.  Their deep-yellow yolks are sure to make a rich pound cake or great potato salad.

Here are two residents of the school’s livestock barn.  The animals are healthy and happy because their student keepers take good care of them.

Here are the egg-producers mentioned above.  They do not always surrender their eggs without a peck or two.  The pygmy goat is receiving a snack from a student.

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