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Beyond the Classroom: Preparing ag-ed students for work force

By Staff | Oct 3, 2014

Two students in the Ag Structures class at TGU Towner are learning work force skills that will prepare them for future careers. Emily Wagner and Alex Parisien don’t make up the biggest group of students at TGU Towner, but they are learning a set of skills that may prepare them for jobs in the immediate future.

The Ag Structures class is designed to introduce students to the basics of stud-frame and post-frame construction. The students spent about three to four weeks in the classroom learning about the tools of the trade and some safety aspects associated with the work site. We also spent some time investigating the parts of a stud-frame wall, and then we entered the shop and began designing and constructing a small livestock shelter.

The first project will be stud wall with a hoop roof. The roof construction is the result of recycling and repurposing cable reels from a local contracting firm. We decided to use the hoop-style roof in an effort to encourage recycling of existing materials into a usable structure. It also helped us reduce our overall construction cost because we were able to build shorter walls and not have the expense associated with roof framing and perlins to support the roof material. It also opens up the structure because of the natural strength associated with an open arch.

Emily said that her motivation to take the class was “to learn to build structures.” Her favorite part of the class so far has been the assembly of the wall structures. In the end, the students will gain employability skills that they can use immediately and they will also have an insight into an industry that is currently growing in North Dakota, and may lead to a career in the future.

If readers would like to stop and see the project under construction, or have a project they would like us to consider building, please contact Jason Mongeon in the Ag department at TGU Towner at 537-5414.

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