Hemmings also stated that the program’s students are so devoted to the animals on campus that when the students found out their goat, Quiver, was pregnant, they stayed in the barn for a long time waiting for her to have their babies.
Sims said they started making small parties out of it, bringing out folding chairs to watch movies, eat pizza, and drink hot chocolate while they waited. When it was late at night, Williams had to come out and tell the kids they had to go home.
“There were several days they had their guard parties where I had to make threats, ‘OK, you know the police will come over here at 10am and patrol and make sure. You all have to go; you can’t spend the night, ”she said with a laugh.
When Quiver finally had their babies, Sims and two other older students helped give birth to them. Staff oversaw the process, but Williams said the students cleaned the babies’ faces, made sure the mother fed them, and made sure the cords were cut.
Now the little buckles named Apollo and Robin are 4 weeks old and live in the barn with Quiver.
“It was really nice to be there and give birth to the babies,” said Sims.
While students have been working on caring for their new animals, they have also been working for the past few months to create a serene mind garden that Williams said will be open to the community starting this spring.
The garden was funded by an FFA scholarship and is intended to serve as a space on campus for students and community members to allay some of their fears. There will be a small rock labyrinth, benches, wind chimes and a small garden.
“We want the families in the Danish community to be able to come out,” said Williams. “Hopefully it’s a good place for our entire community at every level.”
While community members visit, they may also spot some of the animals, or even a dog or two, when teachers come to collect their pets from the program’s new dog day care center.
The day care center near the barn on campus allows teachers to drop their dogs with the day’s students. This gives the small pets some time away from home and allows the students to practice their handling and grooming skills.
Knowing how far the FFA and Vet Science programs have progressed in just three years, Williams said she was excited to see what the future holds for her and her students and was happy to start the program from the beginning .
“It really is the height of my teaching career,” said Williams.