JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Westside High School Agriculture program has reached a new level as students are learning first-hand the business behind farming.
According to Casey Wells, agriculture instructor, the projects, or animals that they have been working with are slowly but surely being sold for food.
"These goats and pigs that each student has spent time with nurturing and caring for are meant to be meat animals," said Wells. "It is just a full business transaction because they have been with these animals since the beginning."
Wells said students with animals have done a great job in shows this year.
"For the fall shows at certain fairs we take the animal to, the animal is judged on how healthy it is and so forth but we have won second and third place trophies at times so we will take it," said Wells.
After the fall shows, students are now at the stage where they start selling the animals.
"They have sold them to individuals who want to process them but it is good because these people know exactly what these animals have eaten and they know that these are the good quality type of meats," said Wells.
The students learn a lot during this process as well.
"They are involved in the purchase of animals, the purchase of the feed for the animals, the caring for the animals and just making sure the animals are as good as possible," said Wells. "Once that happens they are able to sell the animals and whatever money they make from that will go towards another project they would like to start, or wherever they would like to spend it."
Wells said the goal is to provide a good food source for the people.
"The students understand what we do is not mean and it's not cruel," said Wells. "They understand the whole food chain. They understand the whole food system and how that works and what all is involved in it and it really helps them see the big picture of things. It is about understanding the business of agriculture."
Wells said so far, the students have sold four pigs. The goats will be sold after showcasing in the spring.
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