There is no denying the real learning for real life value of an agriculture curriculum for high school students. Farming, and its wide range of crops, are linked to physical activity, a better quality of life, and a potential source of revenue.
Jesse Brant, Chair of Littlestown High School’s Agriculture Department, prepares his students for a world beyond the classroom. Agriculture, Agricultural Construction, Horticulture, and Plant and Animal Science are among course offerings.
In addition, classroom learning and hands-on experiences present an unmatched learning experience, transferable to marketable skills.
The greenhouse, adjacent to the classroom, and the vegetable garden, in full view from the greenhouse windows, give one the feel of a farmer’s market.
Donating to the community is important to the students; the food bank and the Littlestown Garden Club are among recipients.
“Corn Day” is a highlight for Littlestown Elementary School kindergartners. They enjoy garden fresh corn for lunch. Also, a room next to the classroom resembles a barn and houses two Holstein calves, a donation from one of the students, and an antique tractor under restoration.
With so much to explore and learn about, this writer asked students why they enrolled in the class.
- Liliana loves nature and likes seeing plants grow.
- Christian enjoys the process, from seed to growth.
- Nicole enjoys taking care of plants and ensuring their health.
- Corn is Madison’s interest, particularly the biology of corn growth.
- Gwenith’s reason was sentimental; she grew up on her grandmother’s farm. Sadly, the barn that carried pleasant memories burned down.
- Faith loves agriculture and comes from a family of farmers.
- Sam loves horses and lives on ten acres. He also works at the Littlestown Farmers Market.
- Rebecca loves watching colors develop in different flowers.
- Aydan was always interested in Rotary and horticulture. Growing your own is very important to him.
- Matt likes hands-on learning and grew soybeans for a statewide competition.
- Dylan is always around crops and animals on his family’s dairy farm. After graduation, he plans to move out west, preferably Montana or Wyoming, and work on a cattle farm.
Photos by Patricia Green
Patricia Green is a member of the Gettysburg Garden Club and chairs the publicity committee. Her interest in gardening started when she was seven years old. Patricia’s father was an avid gardener and adorned their Richmond, Virginia yard with florals, shrubs, and trees. Patricia helped her father plant the magnolia tree, featured with her in this picture. The tree, over sixty years old now, towers into the sky.
Local Garden Clubs comprise members who have a love for gardening. The clubs promote knowledge of horticulture, advance community beautification, and aid in protecting and conserving the environment.
Students planning a career in agricultural education, horticulture, landscape design, floriculture, forestry, plant pathology, conservation, ecology, and related fields are encouraged to apply for a scholarship through the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania and the National Garden Clubs. Applications are available at www.pagardenclubs.org.