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Minatare schools receive Monsanto grant
October 22, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

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MINATARE — Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Monsanto Corporation, the Minatare schools plans to build a new greenhouse for a number of different student projects.

The grant, from Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Fund, was presented to the district prior to last Friday’s volleyball match against Sioux County.

Minatare School Superintendent Tim Cody said the project was important to build school, home and community connections. “It can spark a greater interest in the need for more projects involving science, math, reading and especially the vocational ag area, which can open up many additional areas of possible future employment or post-secondary study,” he said.

Cody said $8,000 was budgeted for the greenhouse project and he envisioned the FFA program would use it to grow vegetables they could sell at local farmers markets with any money earned going back to the FFA program.

The greenhouse project had been discussed among school administrators and the FFA instructor for the past two years, and Cody said all students will benefit. Elementary students can use the greenhouse and garden for different projects. Students enrolled in FFA can also develop entrepreneurship skills. The greenhouse can be used for fundraising, and for other skills and knowledge.

“We’re hoping it will also generate more interest in the VoAg program and hopefully increase the enrollment numbers,” Cody said. “We also hope that through all the involvement, our test scores will improve in all areas.”

Cody added the new project will increase their number of curriculum offerings and give students expanded learning opportunities, as well as grow their knowledge base in agribusiness.

As a smaller school, Minatare must take advantage of all grant opportunities to bolster their offerings. Cody said he was grateful that local farmers in the Minatare area nominated the district for the grant process. The farmers who nominated the district were: Bryant Miller, Byron Miller, Jacklyn Miller, Virginia Miller and Roger Nichols.

“We also plan to participate in the farmers’ market next summer to sell the fruits vegetables we produce,” Cody said. “We might even create our own farmers’ market here in Minatare.”
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