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Wisconsin district considers having students grow food for schools

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Students in Wisconsin may start providing some food to their districts.
Students in Wisconsin may start providing some food to their districts.

A school district in Wisconsin is considering a program that would have agriculture students grow food, which would then be used by the district.

According to the Jackson County Chronicle, the Black River Falls School District is looking at possibly taking up the project. Students in the district already use a small parcel of land to grow food.

"It was a very successful year, both on the community garden side of things and from the agriculture department’s standpoint," Brad Markhardt, an agriculture teacher with the district, told the paper.

A number of things will have to be looked into before the district moves forward with a plan. Along with assessing its own resources, the district may have to end up asking for donations for things like seeds and farm equipment.

The idea of agriculture students providing food to their schools through their planting activities is not a new one. Other schools in states like California have also had pupils grow vegetables that were used in school food programs.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has also played a role in encouraging such efforts. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently visited the Longfellow Elementary School in Bozeman, Montana, in order to discuss programs that connect farming and education.

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