Grant gives Burke County students hands on experience in agriculture

WAYNESBORO, GA (WFXG) - A nationwide program is calling all farmers to nominate their local schools for grants that will go toward STEM education.

Burke County High School received a $10,000 grant from the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education Fund back in 2012 after several Burke County farmers got together to nominate the school.

They used the money to build a livestock barn that can also be used as an outdoor classroom.

There is also space for students to learn how to grow and harvest crops.

There's been a strong agricultural curriculum within the Burke County School District for years, but students never had much of an opportunity for hands on learning until now.

"It just validates again what we're trying to teach them and then holding them accountable so that they can see ok in order to succeed in life, it takes work," explained Andrew TenHuisen, a young farmer teacher at Burke County High School. "It takes hard effort. It takes knowledge and wisdom to do those things to be successful."

Several of the students helped build the barn. Now that it is complete, it is inspiring a new generation of students to go into agriculture.

"I wouldn't have the chance to even be out here and learn about calves and learn about crops and everything," said Jessi Lynn Strickland, a 10th grade student at Burke County High School. "I probably wouldn't even be in FFA if we didn't have this barn out here."

Strickland said she hopes to one day own her own herd of cattle.

If you are a farmer who would like to nominate your local school district for one of these grants, click here for more information.

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