Leah Khalife enjoys learning about plants, animals and the environment.

She is one of a growing number of Coral Springs High School students who are studying agriculture and animal science in a new program.

“I love taking care of the environment. For me it is fun to actually take care of flowers. I want to have a garden in my backyard and I like learning about plants and crops,” said Khalife.

Amanda Mortimer, who teaches agriculture at Coral Springs High School is excited about building a new program that is appealing to many young people.

“I have students who have faced difficulties in school and they love to work with plants. They are doing well in this program,” said Mortimer. “We are planting a garden and growing various plants and the students are learning about agriculture.”

Mortimer said that eventually the agriculture students will work with the culinary arts students to create  farm to table program. Now, the students are learning to grow sunflowers, tomatoes, cauliflower, basil carrots, green peppers, squash and other items. In the springs, the program will get chickens that will produce eggs.

Also, the students will become more involved with Future Farmers of America and participate in competitions and events. “The students will learn about agricultural issues and career development. The students love the hands on nature of this program,’ said Mortimer.

While there is some book and classroom work, the students actually get to work in the gardens. They work on planting and maintaining the gardens and they learn all about the plants. Sometime this involves failure. Some crops don’t thrive as well.

Jaden Lewis enjoys the program. “This is my first year, I have learned a lot about plants and how they survive. I have also learned about the importance of agriculture,” he said.

Norris Brown said, “I like watching the plants develop and flower. I think a lot of people would be interested in this,” he said.

Carley Neer said, “I like a class where you can go outside and learn. I have an interest in nature and I want to learn more about plants.”

Mortimer has big plans for the program. She hopes to take the students on a field trip to a farm and is also pursuing grants to develop the program even more.