Q&A with Monica Giffing: Agricultural Education teacher and Utah FFA advisor at Springville High School.
Question: The Springville High School FFA chapter was recently awarded a $2,000 “Food for All” grant. What organization provided this grant?
Answer: The grant is administered by the National FFA Organization in partnership with the Howard G. Buffet Foundation and Farmers Feeding the World. Our chapter was one out of 140 chapters nationwide who received a grant. We applied for the grant in October and are thrilled that we were one of the applicants selected. This application was put together by our FFA Chapter President Christina Nolasco, she will also serve as our Community Garden chairman.
Question: What do you think made your application standout?
Answer: I believe our application stood out because of the completeness of the project. The community service that we will be providing starts from the seed germination in our greenhouse, to planting and harvesting the produce, to donating to the local community and food bank.
Question: How will the Springville High School FFA chapter use the grant money?
Answer: The budget set forth was meant for supplies, equipment, and marketing of the community vegetable garden.
Question: What size is the vegetable garden?
Answer: The vegetable garden is 26,000 square feet. We will grow all types of vegetables, including several varieties of tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, zucchini, melons, and pumpkins. We will also have an herb garden.
Question: Are their local sponsors who assist with additional costs that the grant may not cover?
Answer: Harward Farms is a great supporter of this project. They helped with their farm equipment to prepare the soil. Last year, SunRoc helped us begin this endeavor by donating a variety of garden tools.
Question: What will be done with the food that is harvested in the fall?
Answer: During the harvest season we will have a roadside stand once a week. All ripe produce will be available for anyone in need and the leftover produce will be taken to the Utah County Food Bank in Provo.
Question: How many students are in the Springville High School FFA chapter?
Answer: We have 82 Springville High School FFA members.
Question: What responsibilities do students have with the maintenance of the garden?
Answer: We have one lead garden chairman and five garden co-chairs. Each co-chair is responsible for a portion of the garden. From planting, to managing, to water, to harvest, they will oversee a sub-committee to help maintain the area. This serves as a students Supervised Agricultural Experience and will become their summer agricultural project.
Question: What are students saying about the community vegetable garden project?
Answer: Christina Nolasco said, “I think this project is good because it gives me and other [FFA] members a chance to give back to our community that is so supportive of us.”
Chapter Vice President Amberly Bradford believes learning about gardening is something everyone needs. She said, “I think our garden project is great because everyone needs a chance to learn how to be self-sufficient. It will help us now as we learn skills like transplanting and later on when we have our own gardens.”
Read about the Springville High School FFA project in the Daily Herald, Springville FFA receives Food for All grant.
UtahCTE.org congratulates the Springville High School FFA chapter on receiving the “Food for All” grant and for their continued excellence in the Agricultural Education program. Keep up the great work!
Agriculture is the nation’s largest employer with one in seven of American workers employed in agriculture-related jobs. Each U.S. farmer produces food and fiber for 155 people in the United States and abroad. Visit UtahCTE.org to learn about a career in Agriculture.