Osseo-Fairchild School District agriculture teacher wins $20,000 grant

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 6:55 PM CST
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OSSEO, Wis. (WEAU) - An Osseo-Fairchild School District teacher recently won a $20,000 grant for the agriculture department.

The grant was provided by CHS Inc., an agricultural cooperative supporting the agriculture industry in a variety of ways. To celebrate its 75th anniversary, the foundation gifted $75,000 in grants to K-12 schools across the country. The agriculture teacher in the Osseo-Fairchild School District won the top prize and plans to make some improvements in the department.

“Number one on the agenda is to fix our greenhouse,” Hayden said. “Right now, it’s got a broken ventilation system and cooling system that really doesn’t allow us to grow plants in it outside of the winter months.”

Hayden said she also wants to use the money to provide opportunities for her students to use industry-standard equipment.

“If students can be working with technologies and innovations that are cutting edge for the agriculture industry and are going to be the materials and tools they’re using should they pursue careers and also feel more confident going into the industry.”

The Superintendent of the Osseo-Fairchild School District, Lori Whelan agreed and said these opportunities are great for students.

“Our future depends on our students and the more exposure we can have and give them in areas of agriculture, industry, different career pathways,” Whelan said. “There are so many opportunities in the agriculture field that our teacher wants to expose them to and this grant is going to allow her to do that.”

The grant is meant to implement projects that will engage students in agriculture education, but Hayden said it will do more than that. It will also help the future of agriculture in the state.

“It really is a foundational industry that’s the backbone of Wisconsin and these students and agriculture classes, both in my classroom and across the state, are going to be the next generation of leaders for our communities because of their agriculture background and involvement,” Hayden said.

Hayden said more than 140 students will use the new equipment and materials purchased with the grant to perform plant science, gene editing and other tasks in the classroom.