Lyman teacher seeks donations to furnish new ag. course

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Lebanon - posted Wed., Sep. 14, 2011
Kate Nichols, a junior ag. student at Lyman Memorial High School, works on a wood project at the school. Photo by Melanie Savage.
Kate Nichols, a junior ag. student at Lyman Memorial High School, works on a wood project at the school. Photo by Melanie Savage.

The newest offering in the lineup of courses offered to Lyman Memorial High School agricultural students will be a Fundamentals of Agricultural Mechanics course taught by teacher Geoffrey Picard. “Everything that they’ll be learning will be fundamental skills that they are likely to use for a career in farming,” said Picard. Skills taught will include welding, woodworking, concrete work, electrical circuitry and plumbing.

“Mechanics isn’t just engines,” said Picard. “It’s everything that requires fixing. In agriculture you might have to wire a barn, make repairs with welding. You might need to install irrigation, which requires plumbing skills.”

Lyman currently owns some of the equipment needed to teach the course, but not enough. “We’re lacking enough to keep everybody busy, I think,” said Picard. So the teacher is reaching out to the public in hopes of procuring some donations. Items needed include sanders, planers and a cement mixer. Picard is also still hoping to find a golf cart to be used by students in getting around their increasingly wide-spread farming operation.

In the last couple of years, Picard has added beekeeping, maple syrup production, fish farming and fruit production to the list of activities available to Lyman students, among other things.  “We’re starting all these new projects that are spread out,” he said. “A golf cart would make it easier to transport equipment and to get around our little school farm.”

Picard’s dream for the future is to offer school-grown produce to the public. “That’s my goal, someday, is to have a little working farm at our school,” he said.

In the meantime, the new course will help to better prepare Lyman students for an ever-changing work environment. “We’re trying to provide the kids with skills that will make them more competitive in the job market,” he said. “Every skill they learn gives them an edge on the competition.”

Anyone interested in donating to the Lyman agricultural program can contact Picard at Geoffrey.Picard@lebanonct.org or 860-642-5739. All donations are tax-deductible. “Everything we’re doing here is trying to make our program better,” said Picard.


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