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The Warner Ag department has always been proud to offer a hands-on approach and real-world experience for its students throughout its curriculum. This semester was no exception. As students were preparing for final projects and final exams, they also got to see the how some of the components of the agriculture industry operate first hand. 

Mr. David Byrd’s Natural Resources and Wildlife Management class was invited to visit Hardee Lakes to see how reclamation works first hand and learn a little bit more about phosphate mining. Michelle Tickles, the senior permitting specialist for Mosaic, spoke to the class about the No Net Loss Policy and the Clean Water Act. And how mining companies like Mosaic comply with these regulations, but also take it upon themselves to perfect the reclaiming process so that future generations can enjoy nature that has been restored to the same or better quality that it previously was.

Dr. Gina Babb’s plant science classes were privileged to visit Hunt Bros. Packing House and Roosevelt Academy’s aquaponic and hydroponic systems. The first stop was Hunt Bros. Packing House where the students learned the history of the 90-year-old packing house and of Hunt Bros. 

Daniel & Frank Hunt,III from Hunt Bros. with the students

After an introduction to the history of the company, the students were toured around the packing house to see the process of getting the oranges ready for the stores and about the technology involved. The next stop was Roosevelt Academy, where students were first treated to some great Bar-B-Q and toured around the school’s aquaponic and hydroponic systems, learning how the alternative growing systems work and the possibilities of their future in the Ag industry.

Ray Cruz, Roosevelt Academy

One week before the final projects for Mr. Byrd’s class were presented in class, the students were hosted by Cary Lightsey of Lightsey Cattle Co. on Brahma Island.  To get to the island and hunting preserve, students either boarded the ferry or climbed up into an airboat (many for the first time) to get across Lake Kissimmee.

Cary Lightsey with the Ag students

While on the island, an introduction was made about the history of Brahma island and its original native inhabitants, as well as the Spanish colonists who inhabited it for a time as well. Students then got to experience the native Florida wildlife of the island and learn how they have been managed through the years.

These last field trips of the semester gave the students a chance to apply what they had been learning in the classroom to real life situations and were also just a lot of fun. Thank-you all who have hosted Warner students not only in the last few weeks, but throughout the 2018-19 school year. These field trips have provided students not only with a front row seat to the Ag industry, but also with inspiration and opportunities to further their careers in Agriculture.

Thanks for supporting the future of Ag!