Eichelberger Farms to Construct Agricultural Science Center

Eichelberger Farms has announced plans to construct a new Agricultural Science Center for the WACO Ag program and FFA Chapter. The state-of-the-art facility will feature two classrooms, two locker rooms, a kitchen, specialized rooms for rabbits, poultry, and swine, pens for other large animals, as well as a greenhouse. Additionally, a conference room will be available to facilitate meetings with community partners who provide valuable real-world experience to students. This includes guest speakers, land lab partners, and volunteers to train FFA contest teams. The goal of the facility is to create realistic work-related opportunities for students that are not present in a typical school setting. The new Ag center will allow the program to continue its education of agriculturally related topics with industry-standard lab spaces and experiences.

The Ag program was reinstituted in 2021 when Ethan Fetzer was hired as the Agriculture Instructor and FFA Advisor. The popularity of the Ag program is evident as current enrollment has grown to include 135 students in three short years. The WACO Ag program provides opportunities for students in three different areas: classroom instruction, the National FFA Organization, and Supervised Ag Experiences (SAE). Classroom instruction includes areas of plant science, animal science, and mechanics. The FFA chapter offers leadership opportunities within it and participation in state and national events that help promote students’ potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success. The SAE projects consist of jobs where they work with livestock, entrepreneurship opportunities, and other agriculturally related projects.

Eichelberger Farms realizes the importance of agriculture to the community and is excited to create an opportunity for more hands-on learning for the WACO Ag/FFA students. This learning center will provide a chance for the students to experience different aspects of agriculture so they can gain a better idea of what they want to do after graduation. Plans are to start construction in the fall of 2024 or spring of 2025, and the building will be located on the current High School campus in Wayland.