Clovis East Ag students get hands-on experience

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- At Clovis East High School, Ag Science students stepped outside of the classroom to toil in the soil on Thursday.

It was harvest time and the romaine lettuce and escarole they were cutting were ready to be boxed up And then sold to local restaurants like Rev's in Old Town Clovis.

"It's really a one of a kind chance," says senior Jonathan Woodard. "We get to use our hands instead of sitting in a classroom learning about it."

The kids grow 14 different vegetables in the field as part of their plant production management class.

Ag sciences teacher Steve Gambrell makes sure the students learn about all the different duties before they can take their vegetables to eateries or farmer's markets.

"We're trying to encompass the whole aspect of agriculture. What they would see in the Central Valley so they're planting the plant, they're growing them. Fertilizing, harvesting as well as the marketing and sales of them."

The chance to grow food has been very rewarding for city kids like senior Morgan Polley.

"I think it's awesome. I totally want to do this when I get older. Have my own garden or something like that."

The money goes back into the program, though some students won't take the summer off.

"We're actually going to co-op, which is cooperative marketing," said Woodard.

In that case, they'll share profits with classmates.

During the winter the students sold romanesco and broccoli to Clovis Unified.

"It was featured at all five high schools so the students got to eat what they actually grew here," said Gambrell.

The kids have found teachers to be their most loyal customers.
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