Ag students at Dos Palos High are diligently preparing for the upcoming May Day Fair in Los Banos. They spend much of their time at the school farm just outside of town on Carmellia Avenue, working with their pigs, sheep, and other projects to show at the fair.
Hopefully, the students and their teachers will see an Ag farm with several additions and improvements.
A meeting was held in Dos Palos on March 3. School board members, teachers, administrators, architects, and local Ag community members were present. The meeting aimed to develop an “action plan” for short-term and long-term improvements to the farm.
According to Superintendent Megan Grijalva, the school board is tentatively scheduled to approve $200,000 to complete the newly added sheep/goat barn. Improvements would include adding student parking, restrooms, safe passage from one side of the farm to the other, and ensuring the students and their animals have access to water and electricity,” she explained.
The March 3 meeting was “brainstorming” the future needs of the farm. DPHS instructor Don Frey has met with members of the Ag Council to go over the needs of the farm and to make sure any immediate work will fall in line with the long-term goals.
The meeting came up with a “wish list” for the farm. It includes:
–ADA compliance and parking area.
–Finish construction of the sheep barn.
–Wash rack area for the animals.
–Manure storage area.
–Loading area for animals.
Frey has been teaching Ag at DPHS for over 30 years, and the department currently provides services for over 200 students. According to Frey, teachers, and community supporters have worked hard over the last 20 years to provide ample opportunities within the existing structure. Currently needs to be improved, according to Frey.
“Three years ago, the department started clearing the ground of existing buildings, trees, and debris to start preparing for an addition to the original facility,” Frey explained.
So far, improvements include a new 40 x 60-foot barn with pens. The meeting with the Ag Council came up with the additions needed for the program’s future.
“The addition to the original school farm will enhance the opportunities for our Dos Palos FFA students,” Frey explained. “We will be able to accommodate our students with additional goat and sheep facilities and have a new replacement heifer/beef facility to house student projects. Having additional space also the will open up the opportunity to expand into other types of animal projects. We look forward to the completion of this project to be able to serve our students of the Dos Palos FFA.”