Grown Here at Home: LBHS students get first-hand farm experience at school

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BOTETOURT CO., Va. (WDBJ7) - At Lord Botetourt High School students are learning what the farm life is all about. They have a livestock area and raised beds.

“This is a big accomplishment for the FFA and for Botetourt County,” said student Brandon Creasy.

It’s all made possible from grants, and businesses and local farmers lending their support. What makes it really great is the students built it and they maintain it.

“It gives them that opportunity to make things click in their mind. I can explain to them the anatomy of a plant and how a plant grows. I can explain to them how you take care of livestock and take care of animals, but until they get to put their hands on and actually do it, they really don’t understand it,” explained ag teacher Stuart Byrd.

Brian Watts is one of the students who helped build the boxes for the garden.

“This is actually a part of a farm-to-table program that we’re trying to help get in here at the school. And it’s really a bit of a bigger picture -- trying to show kids what it is to grow all these plants that they have on their table because most kids don’t know where their food is coming from,” he said.

And with any garden, you’ve got to weed it.

“They can restrict and steal the water from the other plants. That’s why it’s really important that we’re doing this,” said student Faith Settle.

Dippy, Cletus, Red, and Smokey live in the livestock area.

“The most work comes when we have to run them through the squeeze chute where they get their vaccinations, dewormed, just preventative measures to make sure they stay healthy,” said student Reagan Hall.

They also have several chickens.

“The fertilized eggs were donated by the school nurse. Last year Mr. Byrd’s ag class built the chicken coup,” said student Avianna Wilson.

It’s all around giving them an experience they’ll never forget.

“I would have never imagined planting plants, building stuff, playing with cows,” said student Lauren Gentry.

“It showed me how hard work really pays off,” student Daniel Higgins said.