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Stillwater School District expands agriculture campus

Two new buildings have been built for agriculture classes in the Stillwater School District. (KOKH/Will Maetzold)

The agriculture teachers at Stillwater High School couldn't be happier with the two new buildings that just opened. It's a difference that's hard to imagine compared to what they had before.

"To give you a comparison of what our greenhouse was before the last few years," teacher Robby Branscum said as he was giving a tour of his new building. "All of our students plant growing was taking place in this small artificial lighting."

This new greenhouse is the result of the upgrade. It and a new building to house animals were just completed with a $1.5 million bond issue. Branscum said he's thrilled about the new space.

"I think the most important thing is instead of walking in my classroom and teaching plants from a book," he said. "I'm allowed to do it in here with actual plants and that's the most important thing to me."

The other building teacher Tanner Nipper will use will give livestock more space and give students more opportunities.

"You can see we have a wash rack for each side," Nipper said as he gave a tour of the new building. "That way we can be species-specific. We can keep sheep and goats on one side and hogs on the other that way they are not mixing between themselves."

Nipper said this shows students the proper way to raise livestock.

"We have a great opportunity to take and showcase those students the things they can learn in agriculture and apply to an everyday skill and then a future career," Nipper said.

Stillwater High School principal Uwe Gordon said this is important to offer in the district.

"We're a part of the Stillwater community that (Oklahoma State University) is a part of," Gordon said. "We share that and obviously agriculture is a priority for OSU, which is also a priority for us."

The agriculture building is still waiting for some pens so they can put animals inside the building. Those should come early in the new year.

The staff said these new buildings also open opportunities for younger students and those in special education.

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