2017 Education Grants Funded
Agriculture Awareness Grants $1,000
Maine Farm to School Network – Renee Page, Gardiner
The first Maine Farm to institution Summit will engage over 150 Farm to School/Farm to Institution practitioners to share ideas, best practice, and energy about food and farm education, school gardens, and local procurement.
Leonard Middle School – Kate Bailey, Old Town
Funding will be used to create a space that can physically bridge the gap between the classroom and the outdoors, and provide a space to facilitate learning, engage students, and spark interest for a sustainable future.
Maine School Garden Network – Erika Verrier, Statewide
This project will inspire student involvement in identifying and overcoming pest and diseases in their school garden using Integrated Pest Management concepts. The mission is to promote awareness of plant health resources and grow an understanding of the risks that threaten our food system.
SAD 15 Gray-New Gloucester PreK – Kelly Burgess
The project is scheduled to offer a wide variety of ongoing agricultural experiences through the school year including a field trip each season. Each field trip focuses on a unique aspect of Maine Ag and will broaden student knowledge of the importance of agriculture in our lives.
Fiddlehead School of Arts and Sciences – Marie Camillo Reimensnyder, Gray
This grant will raise awareness of the needs of our shady woodlands and sunny yard for cultivating gardens. The Focus will be on growing food in small spaces and creating peaceful places in the shadows and light.
Holbrook Middle School – Maddy Roberts, Holden
Funding from this grant will be used to purchase and install a garden hose system to help with watering, to purchase additional seeds and compost, and a Kitchen Aid mixer for the school cafeteria staff to help prepare foods and incorporate more vegetables into school lunch recipes.
Hall School – Sarah Swenson, Windham
Through this project students will have hands-on and real life opportunities to visit local farms, organizations, and vendors to learn about the agricultural system from start to finish.
Agriculture Leadership Grants $1,000
Maine FFA Alumni Association – Darick Williams, Presque Isle
This project is intended to introduce all high school senior FFA members to the Maine FFA Alumni Association and enroll them into membership.
Maine 4-H Foundation – Kate McCarty, Falmouth
Funding will be used to enhance a weeklong intensive for grades 9-12 that explores the Maine food system and its connections to students' lives. Emphasis is placed on the science of food preservation, issues facing local food procurement, and a case study of local agricultural products.
Gray-New Gloucester Middle School – Morgan Kerr
Students will understand the cycle that food goes through from garden to trash as we study food waste. We will partner with AgriCycle, a company based on a dairy farm in Exeter, that collects food scraps and using the process of anaerobic digestion, converts them to renewable energy.
Mars Hill FFA – Whitney Williams
Mars Hill FFA students will travel to the Big E in Springfield, Massachusetts to compete in agriculture-based Career Development Events, witness and enjoy numerous other aspects of agriculture, including state related agricultural products, agricultural exhibitions, animal showmanship, and historical trade demonstrations.
Ashland District School – Janet Perry
Ashland FFA continues to learn about agriculture outside the traditional classroom setting by taking students to Eastern States Exposition, "The Big E & Beyond." Our students will compete in Career Development Events with FFA members from northeastern states, and we will also tour agricultural businesses and educational sites.
Maine FFA Association – Doug Robertson
This year's project supports July 2017 participation by Maine's two student officer delegates in the National State President's Conference, part of the leadership continuum that prepares them to serve nearly 400 Maine FFA members.
Presque Isle Regional Career and Technical Center – Vicki McCurry
Students from the Presque Isle chapter of FFA will travel to The Big E in September to compete in career development events and to observe agricultural demonstrations and exhibits. Chapter officers and other members will gain knowledge and experience in agricultural enterprises and activities, enabling them to assume leadership roles relating to agriculture in their home communities.
Agriculture Awareness Grants $3,000
FoodCorps Maine – Michelle Erhard, Statewide
FoodCorps Maine's Ag TOOLs (Training Our Outstanding Leaders) II project will convene the program's twelve service members for a series of trainings wherein they glean techniques for engaging their collective hundreds of students in hands-on, agricultural based lessons as they grow, prepare, and learn about healthy foods in Maine.
Leavitt Area High School – Marcia Martin, Turner
This project will teach students about agricultural hobbies and lifestyles by educating them about agricultural concepts through hands on learning, farm tours, and service projects to provide positive educational experiences for teens.
Healthy Communities of the Capital Area – Renee Page
This project connects students in Gardiner and Augusta schools to local food to help them grow up healthy. By partnering with teachers to facilitate hands-on, agriculture-based lessons in classrooms, cafeterias, and school gardens, FoodCorps empowers students with the knowledge of where their food originates and encourages them to lead healthy lives.
ReTreeUS (United Charitable) – Richard Hodges
Funding will be used to conduct pruning and maintenance workshops in the 21 educational orchards in public schools around the state. It will also allow installation of deer fencing as a preventative measure. These visits are essential to the longevity of the orchards and to connecting teachers and students to the vast learning possibilities inherent in the orchards.
Northeast Livestock Expo – Cindy Kilgore
The Kid's Day event is designed for K-6th graders. The objectives are to teach the 2000+ kids about agriculture and livestock and how they affect their lives each, and every day. Funding will be used to assist schools in transportation costs for busses to come to the event.
Maine Region 10 Technical High School – Ellen Turcotte
Funding will be used to enhance the existing Culinary Arts program through educational field trips to focus on local food procurement practices to increase the usage of Maine grown, processed, and produced foods in their Region Ten Café and in the students' future careers.
Cumberland County Fair – Carolyn Small
Maine Ag Day at Cumberland Fair offers students (K-5) an agricultural enrichment field trip to complement school-based lessons in social studies and science. Participants will experience multiple agricultural concepts by touring the barns and halls on the grounds.
School Garden & Greenhouse Grants $3,000
Atwood Primary School – Tammy Pullen, Oakland
The project is designed to provide a growing experience within the classroom setting with a Tower Garden System. The new tower gardens will travel from classroom to classroom with each growing cycle and be integrated into daily classroom studies.
Miller Elementary – Betsy Lash, Waldoboro
The projectprovides a hands-on outdoor learning and exploration area for our 330 elementary students where teachers can connect classroom concepts to real-world applications. All produce goes to our students, either through classroom taste tests, or to take home and share with their families.
Windham Raymond Schools – Samantha Gasbarro, Raymond
Funding will be used to upgrade thedeteriorated hoop house to produce better crops by updating structure, installing better irrigation systems and fans to help control temperature. This will allow the school to grow more produce and continue using this garden as a learning opportunity for the students.
MSAD #70 – Cara O'Donnell, Hodgdon
This program will teach horticultural life skills to k-12 students, supplement the school cafeteria with fresh produce, and initiate composting into both the elementary and high school. The greenhouse will provide the JMG club and upcoming FFA chapter with leadership roles in horticultural management through hands-in-the-dirt experience.
Edna Drinkwater School – Abby Plummer, Northport
The funding will be used to expand the current program by building additional raised beds, creating a hanging gutter system in the greenhouse, and ensuring sustainability with summer staffing.
Catherine Morrill Day Nursery – Lori Moses, Portland
The Garden will consist of two raised bed gardens and a small greenhouse and contribute to the education and nutrition of the school's students. The garden will contain a variety of plants and will be maintained with staff, student, and parent volunteer participation.
Albert Hall School – Mary Dunn, Waterville
The program will expand garden experiences for students and staff and increase opportunities to learn about, grow, and eat food from the school's outdoor garden, indoor grow labs, and new greenhouse. They will work to incorporate families and local farmers into these experiences.