By HOWARD BALABAN firstname.lastname@example.org
Medina Journal-Register — Monday afternoon the Monsanto Fund announced its finalists for this year’s America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grants.
Medina Central School District is among the finalists.
The district’s agricultural education instructor and FFA advisor, Todd Eick, said getting this far in the process has been a learning process.
“It’d be great if we get it,” he said. “I think we hit every aspect of what they’re looking for.”
Eick said Medina’s grant application listed how, if awarded, grant money would go toward putting up a small barn and compost facility, keeping live animals, maintaining community gardens on campus, and working with hydroponics.
“From start to finish, it’s all ag-ed,” Eick said, noting that the project would be a “campus-wide intiative.”
Medina Central School is hosting the 2014 state FFA convention, and Eick said should the grant come the district’s way it would make for a busy year.
“I’m thrilled we’ve made it this far, and hopefully we get some good news,” he stated, adding that he will “keep my fingers crossed.”
Eick added that he has watched Medina’s agricultural students and FFA chapter increase in numbers significantly in the past several years, and winning the grant would truly help.
“We’re generating interest again,” he said. Furthermore, Medina earning the grant would keep the money in the county as Albion won the same award last year.
Eick said there is a friendly rivalry with Albion’s FFA. Students in both chapters get along well, and he noted that the Albion FFA advisor, Adam Krenning, is his cousin.
Other finalists for the grant are Campbell-Savona, Canton, Elba, Greece, Hamilton, Lyons, Madison, Potsdam, Prattsburgh, South Jefferson, Thousand Islands, and Wheatland-Chili.
The grant, worth $25,000, is tentatively scheduled to be announced on Tuesday, August 27.