CANTON – Canton Central School’s agriculture program has been awarded $10,000 for a new project using aquaponics to grow vegetables and aquatic creatures in the same tank.
The grant is “definitely a positive way to kick off another school year with our agriculture program at Canton Central School,” said agriculture teacher Carol Wright, who worked to get the grant. “I'm very excited to introduce this project in the upcoming year to students at CCS.”
It entails two aquaponic systems for use by students in grades 6 through 12, both as FFA members and students in the agriculture classes.
“These systems will allow us to grow fish and raise vegetable plants simultaneously. It is a symbiotic system, which means that the plants and fish benefit from being in the same circulatory water system,” Wright said.
“We plan to set one up in the school greenhouse and the other in the shop of the agriculture room,” she said. They hope supplement the school garden project by offering school-grown vegetables year round.
They will also b used use by the afterschool PALS (Partners in Active Learning) program “for high school students to work with their elementary partners in reinforcing math and science concepts outside the traditional classroom,” said Wright.
While Williams High School Principal Mark Passamonte said Wright deserves the credit for obtaining the grant, Wright wants to spread the credit around.
“I personally need to thank the teRiele families of Canton for their farmer nominations through Monsanto. This grant wouldn't have been possible without the local farmers' support. Thanks also needs to go to the administration at CCS for their support of this project.”
The funding is part of the Monsanto Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program. The fund will award $2.3 million in 176 rural schools through this program.
Farmers make the actual nominations for grants, and the applications are reviewed by a panel of 26 prominent farmers who decide on the awards.
Another program that is part of this effort is America’s Farmers Grow Communities, which gives farmers the opportunity to direct a $2,500 donation to their favorite community nonprofit organization in their county. Farmers can participate in this program through Nov. 30, 2012 by visiting growcommunities.com.