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Five new farm buildings to open this school year at Virginia Tech

Sophomore Lacie White pets her horse, a 13-year-old Mustang named Diligent. White competes on Virginia Tech's Hunter team, the collegiate level riding team and wants to go on to study veterinary medicine.
Roxy Todd/ Radio IQ
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Sophomore Lacie White pets her horse, a 13-year-old Mustang named Diligent. White competes on Virginia Tech's Hunter team, the collegiate level riding team and wants to go on to study veterinary medicine.

Virginia Tech’s agricultural program is about to get a boost— $31 million went into constructing five new buildings that will be used for teaching students how to raise chickens, pigs, cattle and horses.

On a recent early morning in the horse stalls at Virginia Tech. Natalie Duncan was crouched on the ground, a hammer in hand, trying to repair a broken wooden wall that one of the horses kicked in.

“We were long overdue for an update in our facilities,” said Duncan, who teaches in the ag school and manages the equestrian program at Virginia Tech. “We’re to the point of putting in so much money into keeping them up and running that it was a good idea to invest in new facilities.”

Volunteer Sharon Escalante and Virginia Tech student Eliza Aydar escort two horses to the barn at Virginia Tech.
Roxy Todd/ Radio IQ
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Volunteer Sharon Escalante and Virginia Tech student Eliza Aydar escort two horses to the barn at Virginia Tech.

Duncan said she hopes the new upgrades will help them modernize, and compete with bigger ag schools across the country.

Sophomore Lacie White said she’s sneaked a peak inside the new riding space— “The barn is amazing. It has everything packed into one facility.” White competes on the school’s collegiate level riding club and wants to go on to study veterinary medicine.

Skylar Sturgill is a junior at Virginia Tech and works as a barn manager in the equine program. She's feeding Diligent, a mustang who lives at the university's farm and is owned by another student.
Roxy Todd/ Radio IQ
/
Skylar Sturgill is a junior at Virginia Tech and works as a barn manager in the equine program. She's feeding Diligent, a mustang who lives at the university's farm and is owned by another student.

Four other buildings are expected to open sometime this school year—the pig, cow, chicken and turkey programs are all getting new facilities. They’ll be used for hands-on and classroom teaching, as well as research to support the agricultural industry.

Updated: August 16, 2022 at 10:30 AM EDT
Editor's Note: Radio IQ is a service of Virginia Tech.

Roxy Todd is Radio IQ's New River Valley Bureau Chief.