Construction of a livestock barn on the Midd-West School District campus has begun.
The district is developing an Agricultural Education Center on a 15-acre lot adjacent to the schools in Middleburg with the aid of a $25,000 Monsanto Fund grant.
The idea to build a 30-foot by 42-foot barn for small livestock came from student Elijah Feltman, who has been working on the Eagle Scout project for about two years.
Now a senior, Feltman is finally seeing his concept turn into a reality as a group of students and parents have begun working a few hours on Saturdays with Chad Snyder, of Snyder Construction, to build the structure they hope to have completed next month.
"I wanted to leave a mark," the 17-year-old Kissimmee resident said.
Growing up on a hog nursery, Feltman also has "a passion for agriculture."
The barn will be a place where students can raise, care for sheep, goats and other small animals to show at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, he said.
A chicken coop is also being added at the site, said High School Principal Thor Edmiston. "There are a lot of possibilities," he said.
Midd-West's FFA chapter is the second largest in the state, with about 300 members, Feltman said, but a majority don't have access to working with livestock.
This will give those students and others not in the FFA program an opportunity to have hands-on learning experience, Middle School Principal Dane Aucker said.
"It's going to be a wonderful experience for all our kids to experience farm life," said Joe Stroup, director of curriculum and instruction.
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