Almost a year ago, a fire destroyed the Monterey and Coronado Future Farmers of America pig barn. The fire not only burned the structure completely to the ground, it also killed 24 of the 56 show pigs inside, and devastated the students raising those animals.
Investigators say snow and ice from a late December storm popped the power lines over the barn. Electricity then arched from the lines to the barn and ignited the almost all-wood structure. It was a tough thing for those students to go through, but the LISD's Ag program has shown its resilience. Now almost a year later, the students have recovered their losses monetarily, and a brand new fire-proof ag barn is almost complete. One of the finest in the country.
"They are really fixin' to have us set-up first class," says Monterey Ag Teacher Roger Green. Construction workers are putting the finishing touches on the new 30 stall, top of the line, all metal, concrete and cinder-block LISD Ag Barn.
"I don't think that there's any better in the whole state of Texas," says Coronado Ag Teacher David Schwertner. The LISD has built one of the best looking, state of the art barns in the country, all for some of the dirtiest animals on the farm. Although they may not be man's best friend, around here they're prize winners, and the students couldn't be more pleased with the LISD and Superintendent Dr. Jack Clemmons.
"It made them understand there's a lot of support out there for high school ag," says Green. The animals will be moving into the new barn in about a week. The students who lost pigs were all paid back thanks to the generous donations of the community and surrounding towns. And after being knocked down last year, the program is certainly back on its feet once again.
"We're extremely proud of this project," says Schwertner.
"Everyone will remember how this community helped these kids," says Green.
One of those donors was James Kinsey of Lubbock Truck Sales. Kinsey alone donated about $5,000 to the students to help cover their losses.