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Grant to give students tank to table experience
Sue Scott

The SIA Foundation awarded a McCutcheon High School agriculture teacher a $15,000 grant to set up an aquaponics system in the school’s greenhouse. Reanna Stover hopes to have the equipment set up and operating by next school year.

The grant will allow the McCutcheon High School agriculture program to purchase an aquaponics system where fish are grown and their waste serves as a natural fertilizer for plants growing in a hydroponic chamber. 

Stover hopes this program will provide great learning opportunities for students in animal science and principles of agriculture. “Some southern and eastern states, such as Maine and Louisiana, practice aquaculture on a large scale, but having our own small system would allow students to learn more about seafood production, which contains a lot of nutritional and health benefits,” says Stover. “Combining the aquaculture system with hydroponics grow towers will allow students to learn about waste reduction and how we can use the waste created by one system as a source of nitrogen-rich fertilizer to plants that require less space, and no soil, to grow.”

Aquaponics is a blend of aquaculture and hydroponics and is one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture. “Through all of this, the goal is to create an abundance of produce to donate to our community to reduce food insecurity with healthier options,” Stover adds.

Teacher Reanna Stover receives SIA grant