ECAF Awards Grant For Greenhouse

By Terri Seier
The Elgin Area Community Foundation (EACF) took another step in its continuing efforts to support the community.
On Thursday, shortly after noon, members of the foundation’s board of directors met with Elgin FFA Advisor Julia Schwartz and Elgin FFA officers to present a check for $5,000 to be used for construction of a greenhouse at Elgin Public Schools. Making the presentation to Schwartz were foundation members Michael Moser, Anne Parks and Dennis Morgan.
“The Elgin Community Foundation is very excited to award this grant to the Elgin FFA Chapter. It is something that will benefit the youth of our community on many levels. Children from both schools will utilize it, and it will be able to help young people learn more about entrepreneurship,” said Foundation President Todd Heithoff. “Our hope is that through the various projects they will utilize the greenhouse for, they find that there are future opportunities that can exist in rural communities like Elgin. It’s exciting to see what the greenhouse project will become in the future.”
According to the grant application, every spring farmers go out and plant the usual corn and beans. Everywhere we look there are rows of crops growing tall, or short, and prosperous. However, in the fall the crops are harvested. There is no lab or greenhouse around the local area of Elgin to run labs and learn from once was a seedling. This is why Elgin’s Agricultural Education Classroom is building a new greenhouse.
Not only do Ag students learn and have hands on experience with the plants, so too, would members of the FFA.
Once built, they will be able to experience the plant’s reproduction, growth, and physiological processes occur first-hand with their own eyes.
Even with so many benefits being reaped from building a greenhouse there are even more advantages, Schwartz indicated.
For students from both local schools, Elgin Public, Pope John, and St. Boniface, during the school year the green house will be planting fresh lettuce and tomatoes that could be used in the school lunches, if accepted.
Since the greenhouse will be 18’x24’ it will be the perfect place for teachers to instruct labs and experiments that involve plant science and technology. This will better expand the knowledge and learning opportunities for the students at the schools.
The budget is approximately $15,000. The construction process is hoped to be finished by August 12th, 2015, with the help of FFA members, parents and others.
Earlier this year the project received a grant from Farm Credit Services of America for $2,000. Also, the FFA chapter has put forth $1,000. It came from the Nebraska “I Believe in the Future of Ag Campaign” and from the FFA’s recent plant sales.