Farwell ISD investing in new Ag center

A new Ag center will help alleviate crowding and space issues at school district that is seeing sizable growth in student interest (Drew Powell ABC 7 News)

The Farwell Independent School District is hoping to break ground this spring on a new Ag Center. Funding to pay for the $800,000-plus project is coming from a bond voters passed in 2018.

“With this new facility it opens a lot of doors for these kids to be that much more employable,” said Jarad Flores, Ag teacher/FFA Advisor.

In the last five to ten years Farwell ISD has seen a big uptick in the number of students taking Ag classes. Currently, the district has 114 students in grades 7-12 taking agriculture which is available in one classroom with an adjacent shop space.

“Between our junior high we have Ag that starts at seventh grade and our Ag program just continues to grow larger every year,” said Colby Waldrop, superintendent of Farwell ISD.

The community passed a $8.38 million bond allowing the district to move forward with plans of having a new Ag center built on campus. The district is planning to host its own livestock shows and other events instead of having to use other venues that are limited in seating and space.

“Currently we have a community center here in town it’s not set up at all for livestock shows,” said Sid Morris, Ag teacher/FFA Advisor. “It’s a little room and we have to put out flooring and it takes two days to set up and two days to clean out any aspect of livestock out of there. We’re going to be able to prepare the students more and we can have more one on one time with them to help them. We will be able to put out more shop projects nut were just overall be able to reach kids better with upgrade in facilities and more room.”

Not every senior at Farwell ISD applies to college. Many bypass the higher education process for a job in agriculture right out of high school or during their senior year. That’s one reason why the district plans to have the new Ag center built and configured to help provide students a real setting with what to expect once they enter the workforce.

Construction is expected to start in April and the new Ag center is scheduled to open in the summer of 2020. Waldrop tells ABC 7 News the district may entertain the idea of renting out the Ag center for other community events in the future if the school board approves the idea.

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