Schools‎ > ‎High School‎ > ‎

Agriscience Center


Quick Links


AGRISCIENCE CENTER


With the goal of providing students with the opportunity to explore agriculture career pathways, the Luxemburg-Casco School District opened a brand-new Agriscience Center in 2021. The facility provides chances for hands-on learning with both live animals and live plants.

“Agriculture science and dairy production is vital to the people and economy of the Luxemburg-Casco community,” says Superintendent Glenn Schlender. “The Agriscience Center gives the district the ability to offer expanded coursework and authentic experiences within the career cluster for agriculture, better preparing students for life after high school, whether they pursue a post-secondary degree or go right into the agricultural workforce."

The Agriscience Center has two separate instructional areas: a 40-by-70-foot barn and a 30-by-50-foot greenhouse. The barn contains three box stalls, which house non-companion animals (horses, cattle, goats, etc.) during the school day. An arena area with bleachers to seat students, allowing for animals to be brought out and teaching demonstrations given to larger groups, is a primary component. of the facility.

High school-level courses that utilize the barn include Large Animal Science, Small Animal Science, Natural Resources and Wildlife Skills, Introduction to Horticulture, and Exploratory Agriscience.

Among the skills taught within the barn are how to handle animals correctly, how to properly care for them, and how to determine animal health (body condition score). Participatory, live demonstrations build upon classroom instruction.

Within the barn area is a chicken coop. Students are taught about incubation and egg production, along with the life cycle of chicks to adult chickens. Eggs yielded are utilized by the district’s culinary program.

The large, open space of the barn also is used to build items like planter boxes and landscape installation materials.

The Agriscience Center additionally contains a loft area for storage purposes, two restrooms and a headhouse. A headhouse is the service area attached to a greenhouse, typically housing the central temperature-control equipment and providing work space.

All of the planting takes place in the headhouse. Seedlings are hosted until they can be transferred into the greenhouse. Chemicals for plant application also are stored within the headhouse.

The greenhouse features a technologically advanced watering system with automated environmental controls. Computerized machinery controls roof shades that provide the desired light within the greenhouse, along with creating energy savings by keeping temperature levels consistent.

Greenhouse-based classes are Exploratory Agriscience I, Exploratory Agriscience II, and Natural Resources and Wildlife Skills. Students also have the opportunity for college-level courses through Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC), including Introduction to Horticulture, Landscape Design, and Woody Ornamentals.

Students taking the NWTC-transcribed courses can utilize the credits on a pathway to a Landscape Installation Certificate and, if they choose to pursue an associate degree, in the NWTC landscape horticulture program.

Typical student activities within the greenhouse are planting, plant care, harvesting lettuce for the school lunch line, and readying hanging baskets and budding plants (mums, poinsettias, geraniums, annuals) for public floral sales. A large-scale, student-run business around agriculture is in its beginning stages.

Students learn about hydroculture gardening techniques: the method of cultivating plants without soil. A Nutrient Film Hydroponics System pumps water through a pipe into the clay potting medium, providing the plants with constant access to water while not flooding them. A Dutch Bucket System, where a nutrient solution is pumped from a water reservoir into the pots for maximum nutrient intake by the plant’s roots, also is part of the student curriculum.

The adjacent outdoor space features opportunities for instruction. Among those activities are raised beds for annual flowers and vegetable production (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, etc.), fruit trees to practice pruning, a chicken run, and maintenance of the building’s landscaping by Landscape Design students.

Enhancing the district’s relationship with Future Farmers of America, FFA utilizes the Agriscience Center for its SAE Project (Supervised Agricultural Experience); SAE are hands-on, feet-wet projects that allow students in FFA to learn by doing.

The facility also can be used for events and as a meeting space.

The Agriscience Center was constructed over the second half of 2020 and into the first quarter of 2021 at an approximate cost of $660,000. M.R. Neubert Construction of Green Bay served as the general contractor.


Instructor


MS. JUSTINE SELK
(920) 845-2336 x422