A man holds a diagram of a cow's parts

Agriculture is a main source of income for the residents of Barren County, and school district leaders are making plans to create a meat processing plant for students to learn more about the field.
Submitted photo

Barren County High School students are preparing for their annual farm-to-table hog roast dinner, where they have an active role in producing and processing the meat served at the community-wide event.

The event, which will be held on Sept. 26, helps unite students in the school’s agriculture career and technical education (CTE) pathway program with community members over a shared belief in the importance of the agricultural industry, said Barren County High School senior Mollie Webb, who serves as president of the county’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter.

According to Andy Moore, an eighth-generation farmer, Barren County High School agriculture teacher and FFA chapter adviser, through partnerships with local vegetable and fruit providers, over 500 tickets have been sold for the event each year for the past three years.

“People from every occupation and background attend this event to support the local FFA Chapter and to have a good meal,” said senior Katie London, the FFA chapter’s vice president. “I love seeing the diverse group of people that show up to this event.”

Agriculture is a main source of income for the residents of Barren County. Soon, Moore said, a barn on Barren County High School’s campus will be transformed into a meat processing facility, growing the local industry even further.

“With this meat processing facility, our focus is to try to better prepare these students so that they can take advantage of the growing agricultural market,” said Moore.

The renovation has begun, but Moore said there currently is no estimated date of completion.

Upon graduating, Webb said that she hopes to “combine her passions for policy and agriculture by becoming a lobbyist for commodity groups.” London said she aspires to continue her beekeeping business and inherit her family’s farm.

Moore said, “Part of helping the students is helping them build these networks and these community relationships, and we’re going to have a very nice opportunity to do that right here.”