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Winner School Board denies grant for agriscience learning center, looking for other options

WINNER — Despite declining a matching grant to build an agriculture learning center on the Winner School District campus, the project is not dead.

The Winner School Board this week decided not to use a $332,460 South Dakota Workforce Education matching grant, according to Winner Superintendent Keven Morehart, but is looking for alternate options to fund the project.

According to agriculture teacher and FFA adviser Wyatt DeJong, the four components of the 5,000-square-foot building would include a greenhouse for learning about plant science; a laboratory with at least three lab areas for hydroponics, aquaponics, aquaculture, aeroponics and biotechnology; an agriculture power lab for precision ag technology; and a livestock facility with an indoor and outdoor learning lab.

Agriscience is the application of science to agriculture, which includes all of the areas listed, DeJong said, adding that their implementation would allow students to learn in a way they wouldn't otherwise be able to.