Warner Robins Middle School is in a neighborhood, surrounded on all sides by houses.
Behind the school was a large, grassy area.
It is there that a barn was built to house pigs and goats.
“We never dreamed this was possible,” said Assistant Principal Cameron Andrews.
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The barn, which holds nine pigs and two goats, is the brainchild of Tripp Tolleson, an agriculture teacher at the school.
When Tolleson started working at the school in 2013, he envisioned having a program where children who lived in the city could have an opportunity to participate in agricultural opportunities.
The wooden structure is a little less than 3,000 square feet. It has 10 stalls, an equipment room and a concrete wash rack.
“People were skeptical. Once we got to talking, everything fell into place,” Tolleson said.
Students went to an auction and purchased the livestock.
Andrews paid $175 for a pig.
The students, parents and other community members donated the lumber and sweat equity to build the barn up from the foundation.
Students will invest about 200 to 300 hours in their individual animals, Tolleson said.
“Even on Christmas Eve or day, they’ll be here. Even on the weekends,” he said.
The teacher hopes to create a co-op program with the Houston County Career Academy to provide meat from the animals as well as fruits and vegetables from the garden.
The FFA club at Warner Robins Middle has about 90 members.
Emily Williams, who has shown one of the goats, said FFA has given her experience for her future career. She wants to be a veterinarian.
“It is an opportunity we won’t get anywhere else because we live in the suburbs,” Williams said.