This month a new livestock facility opened in Nebo School District that will support three high schools and their Agricultural Education programs. The new facility is called the “Nebo Agricultural Station” and will house numerous FFA student projects. Buddy Deimler, Agricultural Education Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education, tells UtahCTE.org about the project.
Question: Why was the facility built in Nebo?
Answer: As that part of Utah County becomes less rural students in agricultural education have less opportunity to house livestock projects at their homes. Many students live in suburban housing which does not provide housing opportunities for livestock.
Question: Does this facility replace an older building or it is new to the district?
Answer: Several of the older high school programs have had livestock facilities in place for many years. These facilities have received upgrades in the past few years to facilitate program growth. Maple Mountain High School, Salem Hills High School and Spanish Fork High School will use the new facility.
Question: How many schools will this new facility serve?
Answer: This facility will serve three high schools that don’t currently have livestock facilities. In addition, there is land area available for summer plant programs, research and elementary school field trip demonstrations by the associated FFA chapter.
Question: What kinds of student projects are taking place at the facility?
Answer: The facility will house mostly sheep and swine projects. Most of these projects will be market animals for livestock shows; the Spanish Fork Junior Livestock Show, Utah County Fair Junior Livestock Show, and The Utah State Fair Junior Livestock Show. A few of the students may travel to other livestock shows in the state.
Question: What was the involvement of CTE/FFA students in building this facility?
Answer: The project was designed and directed by J. Merrill Hallam who is a Nebo School District science teacher and CTE Coordinator for Agriculture and Welding. Appropriate personnel were used for electrical and water installation, but a majority of the work was done by J. Merrill, high school FFA students, and community volunteers.
Question: Who else contributed to the building of this facility?
Answer: The concrete was subcontracted, but all other construction including electrical, plumbing, framing, sheeting, and installation of all feeders, waterers and fencing was done by J. Merrill, his son Riley, high school students and other community volunteers.
Question: Where did you obtain the equipment for the facility?
Answer: Previously used feeding, watering and fencing material was purchased out of Iowa for about 20 cents on the dollar.
Question: Will this livestock facility be expanded in the future?
Answer: The livestock facility is phase one of hopefully a continuing expansion of agricultural opportunities and experiences for all interested students.
Question: How will this facility be supervised?
Answer: Each school agricultural education teacher is assigned to one night a week, after school, to supervise students from all area schools in Nebo School District. Each teacher also takes one weekend a month for supervision of students. Additional time is spent by each advisor and student as the projects move toward completion.