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School board to hear plans for greenhouse grant

$25,000 grant awarded to district by the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education

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The Mitchell Board of Education will hear a presentation on a new greenhouse that will be built using a grant from America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education.

The meeting will take place Monday in room 110 at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

The presentation will be given by MCTEA director Shane Thill, and teachers Julie Olson (advanced biology), Karen Roudabush (MCTEA agriculture) and Cindy Gerlach (MCTEA culinary arts). The agenda item indicates it is for board information and no action is planned on the item.

The Mitchell School District was awarded a $25,000 grant from America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, which is sponsored by the Bayer Fund, earlier this summer. The initiative helps school districts enhance their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. Teachers, students and occasionally community members develop plans to create more engaging and innovative STEM programs.

The Mitchell School District plans to use the funds to build a large greenhouse that will house agriculture plantings, a hydroponics lab and an aquaculture module. The focus will be to research and engineer hydroponics systems to maximize alternative crop production methods, with the goal of developing cross-curricular projects enabling students to better understand food security issues and agricultural changes, globally and locally.

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Also on the agenda for the meeting is a presentation on the Workforce Grant implementation and facility tour. That will also be presented by Thill, Tom Berg and Josh Renken.

Deb Olson, president of the Mitchell Board of Education, is also expected to appoint a delegate from the board to attend the Associated School Boards of South Dakota delegate assembly Nov. 15. The board may also discuss ASBSD standing positions and legislative resolutions so that the delegate is informed as possible on the position of the board in relation to those topics.

The meeting is open to the public.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
Erik Kaufman joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2019 as an education and features reporter. He grew up in Freeman, S.D., graduating from Freeman High School. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1999 with a major in English and a minor in computer science. He can be reached at ekaufman@mitchellrepublic.com.
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