Liberal High School student Jason Oyler collects soil samples during Sustainable Agriculture Academy, hosted on the SCCC/ATS campus in June.

Time was, Southwest Kansas kids spent the summer helping on the farm. Thanks to the newly-introduced Sustainable Agriculture Summer Academy, high school students in the area had the opportunity to take a look at farming in the future. With guest lecturer Dr. DeAnn Presley of Kansas State University’s Department of Agronomy, Sustainable Ag program specialist Erin Russell covered topics directly tied to the long-term enhancement of agriculture.
Topics included examination of water and soil quality, agriculture basics and how agriculture connects to basic human food and fiber needs, economic viability and quality of life not only for farmers, but for society as a whole.
Students sampled soil and water, visited a lagoon operated by Seaboard Farms and observed how lagoon water can be used for irrigation, toured the Seward County Landfill, an award-winning facility that composts materials sourced from National Beef Packing, and traveled to the Garden City research development site operated by K-State. Participants in the four-day camp stayed in SCCC/ATS dorms and ate in the cafeteria.