Congressman Dan Crenshaw and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn have been instrumental advocates in securing funds needed for the brand-new, state-of-the-art agriculture barn for Humble ISD high schools and the community as a whole.
The current Kingwood Ag Barn buildings are prone to flooding each time it rains and face several security challenges. On Oct. 16, FFA leaders and Humble ISD board members illustrated the importance of the construction and final plans for the new facility to be built on Ford Road while touring the current location.
More than 1,400 Humble ISD students are enrolled in agriculture courses throughout the district.
“Due to my experiences in both ag classes and particularly FFA, I have learned to be more comfortable with my own public speaking abilities. This highlights just one of the many skills I have gained as a result of my involvement in the program and facilities,” said Josie Johnson, an FFA officer from Kingwood Park High School.
The current Kingwood Ag Barn is 20,400 square feet and has the capacity for 56 pigs, 62 goats/lambs, 26 poultry and 17 cattle. Being near the San Jacinto River, the floodplain elevation rests at 55 feet, making it prone to flooding.
“It is remarkable to see the lines still remaining on the buildings several years after Hurricane Harvey and I am proud to have contributed to a new center that will not only help our students, but also be a safer place to learn and care for these animals,” said Crenshaw.
The new North Agricultural Science Center is being built on a 6.9-acre site on Ford Road. This new site is within 4 miles of Kingwood and Kingwood Park high schools. The new facilities will amass 29,000 square feet and have the capacity for more animals than the original barn. It will consist of four buildings that can house 70 pigs, 70 goats/lambs, 20 poultry and rabbit pens and 24 cattle. It will not be prone to flooding, with a floodplain elevation of more than 100 feet. The center will also have increased security, bug handling, a practice arena, teacher offices and expanded parking.
Many of the animals the students raise within the district facilities are entered in the Humble ISD Livestock Show, a longtime Humble tradition supported by the community for generations. In 2020, at the 73rd Humble ISD Auction, buyers bid $298,316 for student projects.
During the facility tour, KPHS FFA Chapter President Katelyn Spangler showed off her pig while telling attendees about the work involved in caring for her animal using knowledge gained from the program.
“I am so glad to have had the opportunity to visit the current facility and to hear from several student leaders and ISD leadership. It is a wonderful chance to see students in action. Today, we see the joy firsthand, from the student-raised pigs in their pens, goat-chasing efforts, the facilities and equipment used, and even the watermarks left on the building as we remember the strength of this community and its ability to pull together,” remarked Crenshaw in closing.