The Agricultural Co-operative School
The severest threat to the American countryside is the disappearance of rural know-how from the village community. Agricultural education is concentrated in increasingly large university agglomerations divorced from the everyday life of the village. Since agricultural skills are no longer transferred from one generation to the next by inheritance, local knowledge must find another way to subsist. This project, an agricultural co-operative school, anchors knowledge back in the village.
The school sits at the edge between the residential grid of Clarinda, IA, and the vast fields beyond. It liaises with state-funded initiatives such as the Iowa Youth Institute Food Program that offer subsidies for agricultural learning centers to partner with existing public schools. This agricultural school offers students at Clarinda High School the opportunity to learn the basics of small-scale farming for credit. Like a furrow in the fields, the school marks a line between large-scale industry and small-town community, and sows the seeds for local, collective agricultural production in the village.