Redmond Proficiency Academy Middle School science students will visit DD Ranch, an Terrebonne, Ore. based farm about 10 times over the course of the current semester as part of an effort to learn about agricultural science through authentic, hands-on experiences.
The Central Oregon farm practices organic farming methods, raising one-hundred-percent grass-fed/finished beef and lamb, heritage pork, eggs from free-range hens, and raw honey. They also offer a pumpkin patch, hayrides, private events, weddings and educational programs for local schools.
According to Andrea Adams, assistant middle school director and science instructor, the purpose of the visits is to provide real-world experiences for students to engage in scientific investigation and provide them with opportunities to research real-life problems and solutions that apply directly to our community.
“My goal for this class is to try to blur the lines between science class and our day-to-day lives as much as possible, and this is a big step towards doing so,” Adams said.
Students will work toward answering the following questions during the semester:
- What methods or strategies can DD Ranch implement to prevent and decrease
parasite loads on animals?
- What organic soil treatment plans are needed to produce the highest
- What is the best structural design for a chicken coop at DD Ranch that will help
protect them from predators, climate, and other factors that may impact their
- What soil amendment plan is needed to produce the highest biomass yield in the
Research will be conducted in the classroom and on-site, with the goal of giving kids as many authentic scientific experiences as possible, Adams explained.
“I’m pleased to be able to offer students experiences that take them outside the classroom and into the real world,” Adams said. “Being able to partner with a nearby working farm like DD Ranch allows my students to use the land and animals to explore concepts and ideas that wouldn’t be possible in a classroom setting.”