FARM TO SCHOOL GRANT PROGRAM
COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION GRANTS
(SY 2011-12/ 2012-13)
These funds assist agricultural education teachers in enhancing student’s supervised agriculture experiences (SAE) with a focus on increasing the amount of locally grown food served in school cafeterias. Applicants may request funds in the range of $2,000 - $7,000. Between 30 – 50% of the requested funds must go directly to Agricultural Education students in the form of enterprise grants to assist them in growing food to be sold to the county’s Child Nutrition Program for the use in school cafeterias. Below is a listing of funded schools during the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 school years:
John Marshall HS
Nicole Shipman, JMHS’s Ag Ed instructor, farms a state historic site across from the high school with her students. Through the Farm to School Grant they expanded this operation, sold peppers to their school, supplied the Pro-Start class with produce and funded one student who has invested in poultry and plans on doing egg production to market back to his county’s school system.
Robert C. Byrd HS
Veronica Milliken, the Ag Ed instructor at RCBHS, works with an urban demographic of youth. Due to the unique city situation that these students are in, the two students who were funded both grew tomatoes in raised beds at the school and sold them at the farmers market. As a program students grew lettuce in the school’s greenhouse e and it was served on the salad bar during the fall of 2013!
Phillip Barbour HS
Gene Hovatter and Ray Freeman, instructors at PBHS, experimented with different crops in the school’s greenhouse and sold some of the product back to the school to be served on the salad bar. Over the summer a student grew a crop of cherry tomatoes in the greenhouse. The student sold at the Heart and Hands Market in Philippi and also to the school system when school started up.
Joe Hymes and Connie Scarbrough, Ag Ed instructors at BUHS, worked with four students funded through the Farm to School grant who grew peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes. The program has been given a huge boost through the donation of a farm across from the High School. The farm, donated by a community member, will be used as a demonstration site for their students to learn to grow products for Farm to School.
Tucker County HS
Terry Hauser, the Ag Ed instructor, works closely with the school’s CTE director JR Helmick on Farm to School in Tucker County. The school’s greenhouse which is at the highest elevation east of the Mississippi, was equipped with a hydroponic system in which students grew lettuce for the salad bar at the school. With the grant, plants were started for student’s farms and processing equipment (knives and salad spinners) were purchased for their school cooks. A high tunnel, used for season extension, was built next to the greenhouse and used to grow broccoli and other cold weather crops for the school system. A tractor attachment tiller was purchased to be shared collectively by the school’s program and students at their growing sites. The student successful growing season lead to the local farmers market nearly doubling its number of vendors over the summer!
Julie Sions and Carol Webb Instructors at the Mineral County Technical Center, provided grants and supervision to eight students whoall sold back to the school system. This program supported the greatest number of students selling in any county. These students produced: ground beef, watermelons, eggs, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes.
Hampshire County Career Center
Paul Roomsburg (retired) and Isaac Lewis spearheaded the program activities at Hampshire High School. Grants were provided to two students a and a large scale vegetable production on the school grounds produced over one thousand pounds of produce for their school cafeteria. Improvements to the school infrastructure included the purchase of a computerized irrigation and nutrient system which helped them accomplish this in mulch covered raised beds. A newly formed student cooperative marketed seven hundred and fifty pounds of Berkshire hog sausage back to the school system, which was enough to provide every school in the county sausage for breakfast.
Greenbrier East HS
Beth Massey, GEHS’s Ag Ed instructor, awardeded four students with grants. In addition, chickens were purchased for the schoolprogram, which resulted in eggs being sold back to the school. Her students produced over twelve thousand ears of corn and have not only sold back to their own school system but have also sold to Pocahontas County, Lewis County, and Kanawha County schools!
Mason County Vocational Technical Center
Sam Nibert, the Ag Ed instructor at MCVTC, worked with Wes Davis, the original Ag Ed student who sold eggs back to the school system. Part of the grant funding was used for a high tunnel at this school to teach students about season extension. The balance of the funding was used to fund five students who produced watermelons, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and ground beef and pork for their school system!
For two years in a row, two Cabell-Midland students produced the highest revenues of any students participating in the Farm to School program.. Some of the schools grant funds were used to grow corn as a program and the balance of the funds went to fund students who produced eggs, butternut squash, red bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce!
Fayette Institute of Technology
Under the direction of Patrick Bennett, the Ag Ed instructor, the program planted potatoes and sold over one thousand dollars’ worth to the school system. They also donated over four hundred pounds to their Pro-Start program which was able to use them in the practice meals they prepared and served to the community. In addition, the three students who were funded by the program sold 191 lbs of ground pork and 400 lbs of ground beef back to the school system!
Clay County HS
Bob Morris, the Ag Ed Instructor, works well with his Extension Agent, Mike Shamblin, Nutrition Director, Mike Mullins, and a local farmer Bob Gregory. Together they have worked with five students who have produced green beans, peppers, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and sweet potatoes for their county school system!
Nicholas County Career and Technical Center
Danny Dewhurst, the Ag Ed instructor at NCCTC, has used the grant to support eleven students and built raised beds along the side of the school’s greenhouse. Two of his students are planning on doing vegetable production, while the rest are planning focusing on egg production.