Mark Meyer congratulates FFA members Holden Redman, Emma Roll and Alex Vieselmeyer, pictured from left, on the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grant their chapter received. — Johnson Publications

FFA receives $25,000 grant for Expanding Our Roots Greenhouse

    The dream of a school greenhouse is now one step closer to coming true thanks to a $25,000 America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grant received by the Holyoke FFA chapter.
    The Expanding Our Roots Greenhouse planned for Holyoke High School is now halfway funded, and FFA adviser Shauna Brown said that the groundbreaking is expected in the spring.
    Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the grant was presented to the chapter at the FFA back-to-school barbecue Sept. 11. Nearly 100 members and guests were in attendance to kick off the new school year and to celebrate receiving the grant. Mark Meyer of Monsanto Company addressed attendees, noting that the Holyoke School District had been nominated for the grant by local farmers to help enhance STEM education — that is science, technology, engineering and math.
    After a school is nominated, it is informed and encouraged to submit an application. Brown noted that she had already begun discussing plans for a school greenhouse with the Re-1J Foundation at the start of the 2016-17 school year. When she heard about this year’s nomination, she jumped on the opportunity.
    HHS students in Brown’s ag business class last year helped create a budget for the greenhouse, which was included in the application. While it’s the ag department that is behind the greenhouse project, Brown hopes to see the science department use it as well, and would like to pair up with the elementary school for its students to utilize the space, too.

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