Growing Together: Open Forum

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  • 1.  High Tunnel Grants?

    Posted 11-10-2021 10:51:00 AM
    Good Morning!

    I am Kendall Slaughter, Farm to School Specialist for Springfield, Mo Public Schools. We are in the process of constructing an AgAcademy Magnet School. We feel it's imperative to have a high tunnel if we are completely centering our curriculum around agriculture. We do not have the funding to purchase a high tunnel directly. We all feel it is absolutely necessary but the powers that be did not add any funding for the construction of a high tunnel in the beginning of this project. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions as to where I should look for grant funding for a high tunnel? I know the NRCS/USDA has a reimbursement program for beginning farmers but I don't think we will qualify being a publicly funded school. I have also applied for this reimbursement for my own home for several years and the funding keeps getting pulled and reallocated. 

    Any help or ideas is appreciated!

    Thank you all!

    Kendall Slaughter
    Farm to School Specialist
    Springfield Public Schools
    Springfield, Mo

  • 2.  RE: High Tunnel Grants?

    Posted 11-10-2021 11:40:00 AM
    One of the best resources for locating funding options is your County Extension Office.  Here is a link to your local one:

    If you have a local farmers coop they  might have ideas as well.  I am sorry that I cannot offer anything more specific.  

  • 3.  RE: High Tunnel Grants?

    Posted 11-10-2021 11:52:00 AM
    Wonderful. Thank you Rebecca!!

    Kendall Slaughter
    Farm to School Specialist
    Springfield Public Schools
    Springfield, Mo

  • 4.  RE: High Tunnel Grants?

    Posted 11-15-2021 11:30:00 AM
    Hello Kendall! The cost of high tunnels is so variable and there are so many designs out there. Overall, it's important to determine how much space is needed for "classroom" versus "production". Too often (imho), production gets emphasized over gathering and discussion/learning spaces.

    At any rate, it seems like a great opportunity to involve local and regional businesses, perhaps via your area Chamber of Commerce(s). Then present a proposal for a collective, entrepreneurial approach to support the hoophouse and ongoing AgAcademy programming over the long term, rather than a one-shot donation. A lot of businesses could donate a smaller amount to reach the goal and you'd have broader community support.

    My two cents, lol. Good luck!

    Carole Palmer

  • 5.  RE: High Tunnel Grants?

    Posted 11-16-2021 12:12:00 PM
    You might a DIY alternative to buying a high tunnel. A friend of mine built his own out of PVC pipes and high tunnel fabric.  Another friend just built one out of hog wire fence panels (arched)  and high tunnel fabric.

    Michelle Zupan
    Hickory Hill & the Tom Watson Birthplace
    502 Hickory Hill Drive
    Thomson, GA  30824
    FAX: 706-595-7177

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