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High school students learn to care for farm animals through land lab class

Posted at 5:56 AM, Sep 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 07:47:28-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - The school year is in full swing for students across southern Arizona and at one school while students are hitting the books they are also making daily trips to a farm.

Students at Amphitheater High School have the option to take the Amphi Land Lab class as an elective. The class allows students to care after their own farm animal and prep it for show at the Pima County Fair.

Students care for sheep, goats, cows, pigs and even piglets, providing for them whatever they may need during their time there.

"I'll get my calf out and then I'll tie him down, spray hair supplement on it so it helps its hair grow back faster," said Raven Johnson, a land lab student.

Johnson has been a part of the class since she was a freshman in high school. During her time in the class she has been responsible for a variety of animals, but this year she's looking out for one cow.

Other students in the class, like Sara Blevins, have a bit more responsibility.

"I raise currently four sheep and a goat," Blevins said "It's a lot of work personally because you have to maintain different animals and each one has different needs."

Despite the load of work, Blevins said she enjoys working with the animals and prepping them for the county fair.

The work that goes into showing animals at the county fair is something Agriculture teacher Lee Christ said helps students with a whole lot more than just learning about animals.

"It's a matter of learning confidence, not everyone has the guts to walk up to an animal that outweighs them by 1000 pounds and take it by the nose and lead it around. It's a confidence builder and that's going to carry with them through the rest of their lives," said Christ.