FFA students renovate barn into ag learning classroom

FFA students renovate barn into ag learning classroom
From left to right: Lindsay Jones, Mariah Steenhard, Carter Nuehring, West Fork FFA Advisor Kaitlyn Bonzer and Morgan Steenhard check on hogs inside the new West Fork Agriculture Learning Center in Sheffield.

FFA isn’t just for farm kids anymore. But being a "town kid" exploring agriculture has its limitations — namely hands-on experience.

"Kids who live in town aren’t exposed to livestock production," says West Fork High School FFA Advisor Kaitlyn Bonzer. "I can teach all day in the classroom and not really convey what it means to work with animals."

The West Fork High School FFA Chapter is overcoming that obstacle by converting an unused barn on the edge of Sheffield into the West Fork Agricultural Learning Center. The West Fork School District includes Sheffield, Chapin, Meservey, Thornton, Rock­­well and Swaledale in north-central Iowa.

The horse barn that once housed Tennessee Walkers sat unused for a decade before the Sukup family offered it to the FFA. The school district pays $300 per year...

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