JENKS, Okla. — Winter break is in full swing but dedicated Jenks students were at school today anyway to do a little welding.
In 2015, Jenks voters approved a bond to build an agricultural science building to house livestock in partnership with the FFA.
Fast forward to today the program is growing so fast they need more pens which is what students were building this week.
With face shields on, sparks are flying as students build livestock pens over winter break.
“Even if I was at home I would be doing something down at my welding shop I have at the house. That’s what I love to do,” Nate Ezell, a senior student, said.
Just like Nate, about 15 other students showed up to work on this project.
The pens will go into the Jenks Public School's agricultural science building which was paid for with bond money.
Now as the program continues to grow more pens are needed which these dedicated students are building.
“We’re running out of room. We have no pens left and we have more kids wanting to get animals," Ezell said. "So that’s really exciting first of all that you know we have outgrown the space we have. It’s just important to me that every person that wants an animal has the opportunity to have one.”
Agricultural education teacher Stephen Tillinghast says programs like this are sometimes overlooked in education.
“Behind me, that’s just a small piece of what we do and we love being able to give students a true hands-on opportunity to not only learn about agriculture but then hopefully learn a set of skills that they could apply later on in life if they so choose," Tillinghast said.
They created 12 new livestock pens to add to the 45 currently in place.
“The school using equipment bond money was able to purchase the supplies. Mostly we're talking the metal as well as the powder coating that is going to go on these pens eventually. So they paid for the materials and our students are supplying the labor," Tillinghast said.
It took two days to build these pens which will house sheep, goats, and pigs.
“We’re excited to be here and do it," Ezell said.
Tillinghast expects the new pens to be in place at the agriculture science building after the new year.
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