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IN SESSION: Students learn farm life in Isle of Wight

Daniel Judkins helped transform land behind Windsor Elementary into a working farm that doubles as a learning land lab for local students.

WINDSOR, Va. (WVEC) — Sometimes learning means getting out of the classroom. And some students in Isle of Wight are doing just that at a farm built behind Windsor Elementary known as the “Land Lab.”

"My wheels started spinning from day one,” said farm manager Daniel Judkins. "All this was a grass field, no fencing, no poles, no structures. This was grass."

Judkins helped transform the land into a working farm that doubles as a learning land lab for local students.

“The majority of the students have never been in the agriculture field,” he said. "It is making a difference in some of these kids' lives."

Jason Brittle, the agriculture teacher, helped develop a curriculum that is unique to the area. Students from Smithfield and Windsor High Schools can elect to take the class, which meets for several hours every week.

The students grow kale, cabbage, collards, and broccoli in the garden. They also collect eggs from about 20 chickens and tend to several goats and rabbits. The students recently welcomed into the world seven new baby goats!

Even Kendall Pulley, a junior who grew up on a nearby farm, said she learns something new every day.

“Eventually I want to go to a really good veterinarian program because I want to be a vet,” Pulley said.

Pulley added that students truly get a sense of everything farm life has to offer: the good, the bad and the smelly.

"There's some jobs you don't want to do,” Pulley said with a laugh.

The students also participate in “farm-to-table” marketing by selling some of the farm products to teachers and a local culinary class.

The Land Lab will unveil a brand new barn and classroom this Wednesday morning that was built specifically for students on the farm.

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