Luxemburg-Casco High School recently invested in a lab, but it's not the kind you'd expect to find in a classroom.
A naked rat, rabbits, goats, turtles, and more can all be found inside the high school's animal lab.
Agriculture Educator Justine Selk gave tours during the Luxemburg-Casco Future Farmers of America (FFA) Toy Craft and Vendor show, to let people see what the lab offers students.
"[Students] think they're cute, they think they're sweet,” said Selk. “Well, in here I like to take them in, get them dirty and making sure they understand why we have these animals and how to properly take care of them."
The Luxemburg-Casco FFA and FFA alumni have partnered with Selk to create the lab, which first started in the middle of the last school year.
"We want to support our ag program so kids know where food comes from, where it's produced, how to take care of animals,” said FFA Alumni President Matthew Haen. “Just better knowledge of agriculture."
Aside from animals, an aquaponics table has been recently added to the lab to help grow lettuce for the school.
"It's really hard to take a kid and have them just read from a textbook and understand, well 'is this how we really do it,'” said Selk. “I can bring them into my lab and they can actually practice what we're learning in the classroom here.”
"I can't wait for kids to learn about more of the animals and the care, and seeing how cool it is to take care of the animals,” said Brianna Paye, an 11th grader involved with the program.
Selk and the FFA alumni hope to expand the program, creating enough space not only to add sheep and goats full-time, but to create a large-animal lab and greenhouse as well.
"It's fun seeing the kids come in and learning, even seeing people coming in today going through the labs and really interested,” said Haen. “People are really interested in agriculture."
"I just am excited to see where our program goes within the next year and a half between this facility and hopefully getting a new facility,” said Selk.
Selk and the FFA are working with the school district to try and get a new facility in the next year or so.
To follow the animal lab’s progress, you can visit the program’s Facebook page CLICK HERE.