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Elkhart Community Schools expand AG program for students

WSBT 22

Elkhart Community Schools continues to expand a new program developed to teach students about life on the farm.

Kids raised in the city are able to learn about everything from raising crops and livestock, to discovering that food doesn't just show up at the grocery store.

Throughout Wednesday, hundreds of students from Mary Daly School had a chance to learn more about agriculture.

Hands-on activities showed them what takes place at a typical farm. For many it was the first time they'd been in a farm setting.

It happened at the 114 acre Accell Center near County Road 2.

“There's definitely a need, our corporation has a great need with the amount of students that we have, we are the second largest agricultural county in the state and our students have really grasped it,” said AG Curriculum Director, Cindy Keeling.

Many learned first in the classroom what they were about to see at the farm.

Dwight Moudy with the Elkhart County Farm Bureau teaches classes indoors and outdoors.

"Now, this spring we have had 17 classes that hatched eggs, we've had 22 classes, had indoor gardens,” he said.

Many students in the program were impressed by seeing farm animals, some for the first time.

“I would like to be a farmer because I like to work with animals. I like the animals because how gentle they can be some times and how soft they are,” said first grader, Parker Curtis.

“It’s really cool because you don't really get to see them a lot, because mostly they're just at farms,” said first grader, Ruby Shoemaker.

“I didn't know that, I didn't know that fruit and vegetables came from a farm,” said first grader, Jemma Bolst.

The Elkhart school system is planning to introduce Ag Classes on the high school level beginning in the Fall.

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