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Online Ag School
There are many facets of agriculture that many of us aren’t familiar with, and they’re always changing. The Indiana Agriculture and Technology School is an online tuition-free charter school that couples on-line learning with project-based activities. The school has its own 600-acre farm campus, and enrolled Indiana students in grades 7-12 spend one day each month on the farm.
Keith Marsh is the executive director and chief academic officer. He says for one week during the year, the 59 students come together with career specialists to explore ag-related career pathways from job-shadowing a veterinarian to working in a wetland environment.
"They’re getting exposed to food production, forestry, natural resources. They also get exposed to animal sciences, technology, we have a drone program that we’re working with. They can take a drone course their junior year and then get certified through the FAA, and then get their commercial drone pilot’s license," says Marsh. "We have the entrepreneurial business side of it where they learn finances."
Traditional ag education is tied to the classroom for most of the time. Marsh says this program has a lot of flexibility.
"We can do whatever we want anytime we want. We want them to really get exposed and be with experts in the area of agriculture and not just the teacher and themselves," he says. "We want them to really learn from people that do this business every day and to talk about it being a career pathway. That’s how we feel this program works."