Baby Quail

When you talk to most students about agriculture class, they will tell you that it is a class for people who want to farm. Chris Catlin is hoping to change that train of thought through his 8th grade ag class.

Quail eggs

One way he is teaching that is by showing different careers that coincide with the field: welding, mechanics, technology, just to name a few. 

He also wants students to learn by getting involved.

"They need to have hands on, visual experiences with ag to appreciate it," he said.

Last year, Catlin received a D. Jack Mahuron Education Grant through the Washington County Community Foundation. That, along with a grant from Indiana Farm Bureau, helped him purchase an  incubator and brooder.  Students have spent the last few weeks studying the process of egg fertilization, as well as development. They watched the hatching process of quail eggs and saw baby quail moved from an incubator to a brooder. 

Catlin said it has been a great opportunity to show students the responsibility of taking care of animals.

"I told them it's just like a chore," he said. "I have to come in on the weekends and feed and water the quail to keep them alive. It's important to feed your animals quality feed so they can grow and develop."

Quail babies

He said he has taught the students about the importance of good feed and the many varieties available. 

"We learn everything from livestock to production to food items," Catlin said. "Agriculture covers a variety of topics!"