Iowa high school expands ag program

Students at the Fort Madison high school now have more room to grow their ag Program.

The school's construction program recently finished building an additional room for more hands-on learning.

A new addition to the Fort Madison High School now allows students an opportunity to work alongside agriculture.

Sophomore Ellie Baxter said the ag room expansion has made the school's program more efficient.

"Before, we never really came in here," Baxter said. "It was just a dark kind of dingy greenhouse that we would never use.

Ag teacher Bonnie Slee said her classes continue to grow as more students become interested in the field.

"We have lots of different classes with animals and plants,” Slee said. “We cover a lot of things."

Slee said the plants weren't reaching their full potential prior to the program expansion.

"They were not getting as big as we needed them to," Slee said. "They were not getting the light they needed, too, and we also had some issues with because there was not enough ventilation. We were concerned about mold. There wasn't a drain for water when you had overflow."”

This expansion was made possible thanks to a grant and the school's FFA program.

"Our construction program built this from the ground up," Slee said. "They did everything in it."

Baxter said she's thankful for the program, and how it's preparing her for the future.

"This class has really opened me up to the idea of it," Baxter said. ". I don't think before I would have thought about being a vet or a vet tech."

Slee hopes to build a subscription program, where people could pay to purchase fresh produce from the school's ag program.

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