Seventh Day Adventist School Farm
Kudos to the SDA Secondary School. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Barbuda Affairs was delighted to learn that it is compulsory to do Agriculture Science for at least the first two years. Therefore, each student upon enrolling at this SDA institution has to take the subject in both first and second forms. From third form they are allowed to choose their subjects and this not inter-changeable. That means once Agricultural Science is selected in third form that student is bond to pursue it until fifth form and at CXCs. Since 2011 the institution began teaching the subject and since then students have been sitting the subject for Caribbean Examination Council
The farm is a combination livestock and produce. Under the supervision of Mrs. Yonette Patrick, the farm has been very productive. Currently there are 450 birds in the poultry unit producing fifteen dozen eggs per day. There are two hundred & fifty brown birds and two hundred white birds all co-habitating harmoniously under the same roof. These eggs are sold mainly to supermarket and are in great demand. “Right now, the demand is going up, because of the time of the year the demand is going up”, said Mrs. Patrick. There were more orders than eggs available so she had to do some juggling. Apart from the supermarkets at times there are walk-in customers “Today’s eggs are already sold off” Patrick added. According to her the school rear broilers twice yearly.
Planted are Lettuce, tomato, butternut, cucumber however, these were not the only crops grown. Cucumbers are presently being harvested and available for purchase. Awaiting, for transplanting in their nursery are Sweet Pepper, Hot pepper, Seasoning Pepper and Banana Pepper Seedlings. The Tomato seedlings were transplanted a few days ago and more space was cleared and worked upon by a pass student Daniel Corbett, who was hired temporarily to assist on the farm. “I am a past student of the SDA Secondary School and like doing physical activities and practical work. I did Agricultural Science and used to help my grandmother with her backyard garden and even have one of my own. I recently volunteered and was then asked to assist. I gladly took the offer because I would be helping Mrs. Patrick who has done a lot for me,” said Corbett.
Some students during free periods would volunteer some assistance to Mrs. Partick and the other Agriscience teacher. Kazari Lee, a third former and the son of a livestock farmer is one of the student volunteers. Kazari admitted that when in first form he didn’t care much for the subject but now in third form he has an appreciation for it. “I have been in Agriculture all my life but when I was younger and under the influence of friends didn’t want to be a part of it but now, I am more mature and see the importance of it. My father is very happy, he has been motivating me so whenever I’m free I come and assist by doing things like cleaning eggs or whatever else has to be done” Lee said. He concluded by adding that he would encourage young people to get involved because it is not all hard work but fun too with lots of benefits.
Ms. Patrick expressed that Praedial larceny is the number one challenge they are facing “They target us all the time, they never stop regardless of what, we have camera, we have footage, we have everything but that doesn’t deter them and that’s the main thing” explained Mrs. Patrick. Additionally, she mentioned the pond on property which is overgrown and needs clearing so that it could be used for hydrating the crops and allowing the farm not be solely dependent on portable water “We would like assistance to clear more land and resuscitate the pond because sometimes we prefer to use the pond water rather than the pipe water” Mrs. Patrick said. On the farm are four wall structures all of which were constructed by Ms. Patrick who also teaches Building Technology and some of her students. These buildings are the Poultry Unit, two storage units and the nursery.