The Syngenta Grow More Vegetables Grant program recipients have been announced and the three winners will receive garden grant packages.
The program is a part of Syngenta’s Good Growth Plan, which addresses global food security challenges by producing measurable goals for boosting resource efficiency, rejuvenating ecosystems and strengthening rural communities.
The three grant winners are Pierz Healy Middle School in Pierz, Minnesota; South Winneshiek High School Future Farmers of America program in Calmar, Iowa; and The Kane Street Community Garden in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
The school garden at Pierz Healy Middle School teaches 275 students about science and the environment in a hands-on way. In addition to learning about growing plants, students also learn about testing scientific hypotheses and take part in designing the garden's layout.
“We see this as a growing opportunity of plants, of course, but also as a way to foster relationships and personal growth,” agricultural science teacher Patricia Tax said.
The South Winn Gardens contain raised garden beds, a microgreen system, a greenhouse and a test plot. The food produced in the garden is sold to the local community or donated to the local food bank.
“It is the goal of the agricultural department to graduate students who are well-rounded and exposed individuals," agriculture teacher Melissa Brincks said. "This robust program helps provide students with the tools they need to pursue careers in agriculture.”
The Kane Street Community Garden also helps to feed the hungry of their community by providing free produce to La Crosse residents who live under the poverty line.
“The Kane Street Community Garden is in the area of the city that it needs to be,” Shelly Fortner, executive director of The Hunger Task Force, the program that runs the garden, said. “Working directly with the low-income population, it is truly a community project.”