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News :: Funding, donations bring FFA 'Barn' project closer to reality
· 10:35am October 23rd, 2013
Just a month after Vinton-Shellsburg FFA members discussed their plan to build a livestock educational facility (known as The Barn) with the VS School Board, the project has already secured more than $160,000 of the estimated $200,000 needed to fully fund the project.
Officially called the Animal Learning Lab, the building the FFA plans to build with $100,000 from district PPEL funds and financial assistance from partners in the agricultural community will include space for livestock, as well as lab and office space.
The goal: Bridging the gap between the classroom and real-life application of agriculture. The new building will allow students to: apply research concepts and best practices; learn animal handling, restraints and safety procedures; evaluate livestock and breeding management; experience animal management systems; experience ag-related careers in a more controlled environment; have more opportunities to experience job responsibilities prior to applying for a job.
The chapter has begun fund-raising efforts; they hope to construct a 36 by 48-foot building east of the classroom/greenhouse area. Work will begin as soon as sufficient funds have been raised; the goal is to have the building ready for use by the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.
Equipment needed will include: folding stainless steel tables, disinfectants, projector and viewing equipment, microscopes and storage units, rabbit and chicken hutches, wheelbarrows and shovels for cleaning, livestock fans, and more.
Lab materials the students will learn to use include: a reverse osmosis system to remove chlorine, dissection kits and veterinarian medicine training kits.
A committee formed to raise money has already raised $64,000 of the $100,000 needed in donations. A public campaign to ask area residents to help support the project is tentatively planned for sometime in the next few months. The first phase of the project, say committee members, was asking local businesses and other FFA supporters with the resources to fund the project to contribute.
For more information, contact AG/FFA advisor Louise Fleming at VSHS, 319-436-4728, or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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