DANVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky School for the Deaf has broken ground on a garden and research center at the campus in Danville.
The Advocate-Messenger (http://bit.ly/1nk7kDM) reports it has been about four decades since students at the school last work the land.
Student Bethany Yance, a sophomore who serves as vice president of the school's Future Farmers of America chapter, called the move "a dream come true."
School officials say students will use the 23 acres to grow produce such as corn, potatoes and strawberries.
The garden was made possible by an FFA grant to address local hunger needs. Items from the garden will be dispersed to the school's cafeteria, local food banks and community organizations.
"For these kids to have the opportunity to work in the field is an incredible experience," said Jay Hall, director of agriculture education and outreach for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. "Agriculture is the most important industry in Kentucky."
Sandy Smock, agriculture education instructor and FFA adviser, said it will give students some real-world farming experience.
"It's not about me giving them a fish, but teaching them to fish," she said. "I want to open their minds that, should they choose to grow, that's within their reach."
Yance said the project will benefit students and local residents.
"My goal for all of this is to have all of this acreage with vegetables, animals, orchards and have barns and outdoor classrooms, so that we can actually come out here and learn how to farm," she said.
"There's other places in other states and other countries that are starving and have hunger problems. I'm hoping that we can just make a small dent in helping people out there, that we can help those families in some small way," Yance said.
Information from: The (Danville, Ky.) Advocate-Messenger, http://www.centralkynews.com/amnews