South Central Wisconsin Schools Utilize $35,000 in Grants to Cultivate Learning

In South Central Wisconsin, farmer contributions reach past the dinner table and into the classroom. In 2013, Wisconsin farmers nominated the Oregon School District and the Waupun Area School District for math and science grants through America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The results of this support are evident throughout both districts. After receiving Grow Rural Education grants, they now offer nontraditional science courses aimed at increasing student engagement.

The Oregon School District was awarded a $10,000 grant to develop hydroponics systems. These systems provide practical models of agricultural concepts, and they have helped encourage student interest in horticulture.

“The grant from America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, gave students the opportunity to use present day farm technologies,” said Jillian Beaty, agriculture teacher and grant writer. “Students are more engaged and have a better sense of all the work that goes into farming.”

Waupun Area School District received a $25,000 grant to add a biomedical learning course to its science program. The course blends biological and agricultural engineering, continuing a trend in the district of offering integrated lessons in math and science classes.

The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grants for Oregon and Waupun Area School Districts have provided students in South Central Wisconsin with real-life experiences that demonstrate concepts they had previously only read about.

The 2014 America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program is open between now and April 6, 2014, for farmers to nominate their local public school district to compete for a grant of either $10,000 or $25,000. Administrators from nominated school districts can then submit grant applications for either amount, through April 21, 2014 to enhance their math and/or science programs.

For more information about the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program and to view the official rules, a list of eligible states, counties and CRDs, visit www.GrowRuralEducation.com.