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A2O-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, October 23, 1993
Bob Lauffer, ag instructor at Garden Spot, lifts the tray
bearing hydroponically growing cucumbers, lettuce, and
basil as part of’the “aquaponlcs” experiment in the new
greenhouse. The display uses the nutrients available In fish
water to feed the plants.
New Greenhouse Provides
As Ag Education Evolves
NEW HOLLAND (Lancaster Co.) Twenty-four
years ago, according to Cliff Day, a Garden Spot High
School ag science instructor, the school’s agriculture
department assembled a glass greenhouse on a wagon bed
and look it to the elementary schools around town, demon
strating one aspect of agriculture education at work.
At a dedication ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, the
work of promoting ag education evolved to a newly con
structed greenhouse measuring 48 feet by 17/j feet, and
involving all aspects of the school’s Grassland FFA chap
ter and students from across the science curriculum.
About 150 gathered at the school’s new facility, a three
bay, gutter-connected greenhouse constructed through a
cooperative effort paid in part by the Rural Youth Deve
lopment Fund program, area businesses, and lots of volun
teer time by the FFA alumni, staff, and FFA members.
“For anyone who has any doubts about the direction
that we’re taking in education, moving away from sitting
in the classroom to moving more toward performance
based education, being able to not only know something
but be able to use it, walk in there and take a look, and you
will sec what young people are going to be more and more
asked to do, not just in this program, but in other areas,”
said Don Carroll, Jr., state secretary of education.
According to school adminstration and staff, not only
FFA members, but students throughout the school can
utilize the facilities for various projects. The FFA chapter
will administer some of the projects, and much of the
material grown in the house will be sold at a special stand
(to be constructed later), with proceeds to benefit the
According to Boyd Wolff, stale secretary of agriculture,
funding for the greenhouse was one of 95 different pro
jects over the past 20 months, totalling about $325,000,
from the Rural Youth Development Funds program. The
program, according to Wolff, has also provided money for
ag awareness projects, several farm safety projects, envir
onmental science programs, seminars on careers in agri
culture, programs to overcome rural barriers, and partial
scholarships for students to attend youth institutes and
leadership development seminars.
“ Wc’rc no longer sending many of our students back to
the farm,” said Wolff. Wolff said the project will help
FFA’crs “to pursue productive and important careers in
“We have an aggressive, energetic, goal-oriented agri
culture staff,” said Bill Rohrer, superintendent of Eastern
Lancaster County School District “These individual
s ... are in touch with their environment.”
Rohrer told those present that the ag department recog
nized the need for more space, literally, to conduct envir
onmental science projects. He said the department recog
nized the changing face of agriculture, “from the tradi
tional Held crop and large animal production to vegetables
and other products . . . a vehicle to aid the transition in ag
Studies to be undertaken include the science of “aqua
ponies,” which combine elements of fish agriculture and
using waste water projects as feed for plants. Also, flowers
will be grown and sold according to season, and the stu
dents will study aspects of horticulture related to veget
able production, bedding plants, and landscaping.
Lancaster Farming Staff
The ribbon-cutting ceremony during the Grassland FFA Greenhouse Dedication
ceremony featured, from left, Connie Zelset, Grassland vice president, operations;
Darryl Weaver, Grassland FFA alumni vice president; Don Reed, Garden Spot High
School principal; James Huber, chairman of Lancaster County Commissioners; Don
Carroll, Jr., Pennsylvania secretary of education; Sen. Noah Wenger; Boyd Wolff,
Pennsylvania secretary of agriculture; Rep. Terry Scheetz; and Bill Rohrer, superin
tendent, Eastern Lancaster County School District.
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