Project Completed Thanks to $50,000 in Support from Landus

At first glance, the words on a banner might have raised an eyebrow for the casual observer: “The Future of Ag Starts Here.” Afterall, it was hanging from a building in Des Moines, the state’s urban center and a city not immediately associated with Iowa farming and agriculture.

But, the banner wasn’t hanging from just any building in Des Moines, instead from a newly renovated barn for agriscience students at Central Campus. The facility will better support opportunities for students to gain real-world experience working in the agricultural industry. And, as everyone at the ribbon cutting event noted, there is a place for everyone in farming and agriculture.

Central Campus’ Associate Principal Kelsie Mouchka emceed the event, welcoming guests, sharing why this educational program is important for Iowa and beyond, and introducing speakers who included Landus President & CEO Matt Carstens. Landus, the farmer-owned cooperative, raised $50,000 for the barn’s improvements with the goal of inspiring the next generation of agricultural workers and farmers.

“Farming is one of the world’s oldest professions and remains one of, if not, the most critical industry in the world. This barn represents Landus’ commitment to ensuring the longevity and vitality of agriculture work by providing the next generation of farmers with the tools and experience needed to usher in the next era of farming. We’re proud to support Central Campus and its agricultural sciences program,” noted Carstens.

Kevin Anderson, the animal science instructor at Central Campus, pointed out a fun fact about the need for the new barn: in all of Iowa, only two high school agricultural programs have a working animal farm, one of them being at Des Moines Public Schools.

Of course, the  facility exists for students, and so two Central Campus students – Katelynn Hart and Jomar Leon – were called upon to say a few closing words as well as the honor of the event’s main purpose. With a giant pair of scissors in hand, they cut the ribbon to make the re-opening official.

Once inside, students and guests had a look around while the “residents” of the barn vied for attention, too. A few goats and lambs came up to the gate for some head pets and scratches while pigs stuck their snouts out of their enclosures as people walked past. Several students will be working with these animals well past the last day of school as they prepare for summer fairs.

At Central Campus, “urban farming” is synonymous with “Iowa farming” as the next generation of farmers and agriscience professionals are educated, creating a place for everyone who has an interest in agriculture.

Photos from Central Campus Barn Dedication
Central Campus Celebrates New Barn for Ag Program

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