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Students Feeding Students
FFA members in Holmen, Wis., are feeding fellow students with produce and meat they raise in and out of school. They grow and harvest spinach, lettuce, carrots and radishes in a greenhouse on the school grounds. Hogs, cattle and chickens raised by FFA students on home farms become ingredients in main entrees.
For about 8 years the school participated in a state initiative called Farm2School that encourages using locally grown products. However in 2013 FFA members took it a step further. Liz Dohms, Wisconsin Public Radio, described how one member suggested setting up a small hydroponic project and asked if the school could use the lettuce.
That small project eventually morphed into a large, community sponsored greenhouse, complete with aquaponics, that opened this past spring. Some students tend the greenhouse, while others raise livestock headed for the lunchroom.
The locally produced food seems to have made a difference. In 2008 the high school served from 10 to 15 lbs. of vegetables a day to their 1,000 students. Today, they serve more than 100 lbs. a day. Student participation in school lunch is up as well, with about 90 percent of students eating in the cafeteria versus around 65 percent statewide.
“Our salad bar is crowded,” says Sarah Mumm, who is in charge of the cafeteria. She predicts that with an expansion of the cafeteria, even more students will be eating what fellow students are producing.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Roger King, Holmen High School, FFA Advisor (ph 608 526-3372, ext. 6333; kinrog@holmen.k12.wi.us).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #2