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In 2005, the first thoughts of expanding an existing horticulture program were birthed by an innovative administration and an energetic instructor. Review of student interest through the Individual Learning Plan (ILP) and surveys, which were conducted in the local public schools, supported the idea of this type of program expansion. The possibilities began to be researched on the campus of Eastside Technical Center looking at the future renovation of the existing facility. As the dream began to take on life, many in the agricultural community expressed their support for such a project.

After many months which led into years of research and development, an opportunity to acquire property through the federal government resulted in a formal written proposal to the United States Department of Education and the Federal Public Benefit Program (FPBP). This resulted in eighty-two (82) acres of prime real-estate being donated to the school district at no monetary cost.

 

As a result of this most generous donation and very creative architectural design team, Locust Trace AgriScience Farm (LTAF) is being developed. This facility leads the way in our district by pursuingnet-zero energy usage and sitting lightly upon the land. This campus is providing students a rare opportunity to research the impact humans can have upon the natural land and the animals that inhabit the untouched areas.Migratory patterns and habitats are closely monitored while impact on soil, vegetation and underground water tables are studied.

 

Use of photovoltaic cells, wind energy, smart design and monitoring will allow for students to take ownership in the net-zero vision for the campus. There is no other site known in the nation which has taken such strides for the AgriSciences and veterinarian studies.