Finding Ways to Incorporate Agriculture in the Classroo |

Finding Ways to Incorporate Agriculture in the Classroo

When we think about agricultural in Wyoming the first word that comes to mind is big. Ranches that stretch to the horizon, large combines harvesting grain or semi-trucks packed full of sugar beets. Bringing agriculture into the classroom has always been a challenge for educators. Some schools have created outdoor classroom gardens to demonstrate horticultural. Other schools have built cold frame greenhouses that allow for growing vegetables earlier in the spring and later in the fall. But there is another method of horticultural production call vertical farming that is gaining popularity. It is all about growing using the least amount of space. An example of this is the Zipgrow hydroponic grow towers made by Bright Agrotech of Laramie Wyoming. Their equipment was recently used to construct a living wall on the side of the US Pavilion at the 2015 World’s Fair. But just as important is the use of their Zipgrow garden towers to bring part of agriculture into Wyoming classrooms. The advantage of hydroponics is they can be used throughout the school year to demonstrate how to grow some of vegetables found in the salad bars of the school cafeteria. Unlike traditional horizontal hydroponic systems these units have a much smaller foot print taking up very little room in the classroom. The more opportunities students have to understand how food grows and where it comes from, the better off we will all be.

– Wyoming Department of Agriculture