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Wauneta-Palisade FFA greenhouse project moving closer to fruition PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 25 March 2016 16:40

By Diane Stamm

The Wauneta Breeze

When FFA sponsor Rod Gaston was interviewing for his position with the Wauneta-Palisade schools, the subject of a school greenhouse came up.

Less than a year later Gaston is hopeful the fund raising portion of the project is nearly complete.

Gaston credited the very successful Labor Auctions with leaving WP FFA  with a “pretty good balance” in its account.

The group continues to strive toward its goal of $30,000. Three grants have been written and a fourth will be completed by April 15.

The plan is for a 24- by 48-feet building with a hard poly-carbonate exterior. The exterior would have a 10-15 year warranty and should be able to withstand wind and hail.

Included in the cost is a concrete floor, electrical expenses and hooking up propane.

WP FFA has received $2,500 in donations. If it can raise $5,000, BW Telcom will donate $2,500.

“We’re excited to see the participation in communities helping the school with this project,” said Randall Raile of BW Telcom. “It’s exiting to see the kids involved.”

If all goes well the greenhouse will be ordered before the end of the school year and constructed over the summer.

Pots, trays and seeds come next. Gaston said the FFA students will raise vegetables, annuals, shrubs and a few perennials. Eventually, input from the community will be taken into consideration.

Hopefully perennials will be for sale this fall with enough long-term sales to make the greenhouse self-sustaining.

Gaston said some schools, such as Litchfield Public Schools, use a greenhouse to supply vegetables for the school cafeteria via a “farm-to-school program.”

Contributions to food pantries are also planned.

The greenhouse will also be utilized for ag and FFA oriented classes.

Gaston used the word “pathways” to describe a underclassman taking a plant science class then following the path to horticulture, nursery and landscaping, plus ag business.

Students will also be given a chance to work at the greenhouse to earn Supervised Ag Experience credit over the summertime, rather than have an animal project or find an ag-related job.

Area farmers can show their support by visiting www.GrowRuralEducation.com and nominating WP. Nominations are due by April 1. Community support plays a role in determining which schools are selected for Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program.

The FFA’s annual banquet will be held April 21 with the Labor Auction to follow.

Donations can also be given to Wauneta-Palisade FFA in care of Gaston, Teresa Hayes or Wauneta-Palisade Public Schools.

“We need to give a big thank you for all the support we’ve already been given,” Gaston said. “We appreciate all the support. This will benefit many kids for years to come.”