Carlisle High School brings hands on learning to students interested in farming


Carlisle is a community rooted in agriculture, and the high school found a way to support students in their passion for farming.

"I didn't have any idea I was going to be a high school teacher, until about three years ago, and it was just one of those things I knew I was supposed to do,” said Carly Bokker, the agriculture education instructor and 4h advisor at Carlisle High School.

She leads a program that is unique. "We are one of three programs in the entire state that has row crop farm," she explained. They are one of the only schools that allows students the opportunity to work on a farm, on campus, during class.

This is something that got the attention of student Kaleb Boyle back in 8th grade. "I thought it would be cool and an experience to do it. Now that I’m in it, I love it," he explained.

Bokker teaches students about growing things like corn and soybeans, the science behind it, and even how to harvest it. "I’m able to bring my students to this field to give them hands on experiences that they wouldn't get in a traditional class room," she said.

Boyle agreed, "It's cool, we get to learn about all this and farming and how it's done."

But also, once the crop is harvest, they sell it, and use to profits to support students. "They're able to go to camp. We're also able to pay for state and national convention registration, and all the travel that's associated with that as well,” Bokker said.

Boyle is grateful for the opportunity, "You meet so many new people and you learn so much about FFA and agriculture and it's amazing."

Bokker said her goal is always the future of her students. “My goal is for each one of them to leave this school and have a job, career in mind, hopefully in agriculture. But to also have skills that they can utilize when they get to college or when they get to the job right out of high school," she said.

Bokker said the program would not be possible without the support from their community. The materials, seed, fertilizer and work are all donated by local farmers.

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