Planting seeds for the future


Students in the Moffat County High School horticulture class don't exactly reap what they sow, but the program does.

What students grow each year is sold at an auction and the proceeds are used to ensure the program continues.

Horticulture is part of the high school's offerings in the genre of agriculture education.

"We offer a very diverse number of courses," teacher John Haddan said.

The class has two parts, the theoretical and the practical. Students spend the first half learning about plant structures, life cycles and biology and the second half growing and caring for plants.

At the end of the year, the plants are auctioned off during the Future Farmer's of America Rocky Mountain Oyster fry, scheduled for 6 p.m. May 19.

"This year, we're looking to have a great plant sale," Haddan said. "We have really good community support for the auction."

They start plants from seed, cuttings and transplanted plugs and they experiment with flowers, plants and vegetables. They purchase some of their supplies, but many others are donated. Kmart, Tunies and Such, Garden Pit, City Market and MJK have all contributed plants, seeds, pots or soil at some point.

A greenhouse was purchased two years ago using grant funds. The class is still experimenting with it, Haddan said.

Students also are experimenting with hydroponics this year. Members of the welding class built a hydroponics unit for the horticulture class.

Junior Dustin Harrison has taken an interest in the hydroponics program.

"I got told to do it, so I did," he said, passing off his commitment. "This is just an easy science credit."

He will admit that he thinks the process is pretty cool.

"It's neat to see how much faster stuff grows this way than in dirt," he said. "I like growing things and this is better than regular science. It's more hands-on."

Junior Dayla Pritchard can tell you exactly which plants she's responsible for. She struggles a little to remember what they're called, but she has an obvious pride in what she's done.

"I like to come out and see how they're growing," she said. "They change so fast."

She said that Haddan really stresses quality, which makes the class more than just "an easy science credit."

The interconnectivity of ag-related classes will mean more than a hydroponics tray for the horticulture class. The agriculture mechanics class is doing a unit on irrigation for which they'll put together misters and timed waterers for the greenhouse.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at or

Commenting has been disabled for this item.