If you have a son or daughter in junior high or high school who is looking at a career in the ag industry, you may consider the Indiana Agriculture and Technology School. It’s a charter school for kids in 7th through 12th grades who want more hands-on training in agriculture.
Amber Wolfe, the school’s ag educator and FFA advisor, says they are providing students with a unique ag learning experience.
“We really try to focus on, not only career readiness, but also life preparation,” says Wolfe.
“We have students who have already decided to make that leap into wanting to find a career in agriculture in some way,” says Wolfe. “We want to be able to help them figure out how we balance that [and] how we determine what pathway [to] go down.”
“You can’t just decide, ‘I’m either going to be a farmer or a veterinarian,’ which is what most students think. ‘If I’m from a farmer or I love animals, that’s my option,’ and there are so many other thousands of possible careers and pathways they can take. We want to help them explore those options,” says Wolfe.
The school is relatively new with their main campus at the Hensley Farm located in southern Johnson County, along with four regional campuses.
“Our school is only six years old this year [and] we have had students for five years,” says Wolfe. “I am based in Trafalgar on our main school campus [in Johnson County]. We have regional campuses in Jasper County, in Putnam County and also on the Luton Goat Farm in southern Indiana in Stendal [in Pike County], so we are bringing together multiple educational components and different groups to help support the students learning all over the state.”
Wolfe says students learn their core classes, like English, social studies and math, online for four days a week – but then they spend one day a week learning more about agriculture than what comes out of a textbook or computer.
“They come to our school farm and they spend full days with that hands-on learning. [Students are] actually learning how to give vaccinations to livestock, how to scout different diseases and pest problems in crops, [and] how to work on mechanical issues. So, when they come to those school farms, they’re not bringing textbooks. They’re not bringing computers. They’re bringing themselves for that immersion and that hands-on learning,” according to Wolfe.
The big question from parents interested in sending their kids to Indiana Agriculture and Technology School is often, ‘How much does it cost?’
“Because we are an Indiana public charter school, it is a free school,” says Wolfe. “There is zero tuition costs to attend our school. They do get a Chromebook when they come in through our school through a generous grant that we have right now that provides that technology to our students.”
Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s news report on Indiana Agriculture and Technology School and how it is providing junior high and high school students with a unique learning experience.