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January 19, 2017
Gov. Bentley announces grant to help Winston County students, teachers learn new farming techniques

MONTGOMERY— Gov. Robert Bentley has announced a $24,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant for a project to help Winston County students and teachers learn about modern farming.  

Camp McDowell is using the grant to implement McDowell Farm School, a farm-based education program for 150 Winston County students and five teachers. With support from the Winston County School Board, Camp McDowell will partner with one school to provide the three-day, two-night camp that includes project-based learning on agriculture, environmental studies and alternative energy systems. Students will take what they learn during the camp and construct a garden at their school with raised beds, rain barrels and an irrigation system.

“By helping students and teachers learn and apply these skills, they will learn and value how our food is produced and potentially develop an interest in agriculture as a career field,” Bentley said. “The model of the program also will enable students and teachers to potentially share what they’ve learned to others at their school.”

Program officials said that the participating teachers will be able to implement science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) learning strategies in the garden and in the classroom throughout the school year.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the ARC program in Alabama along with a wide range of other programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.

“Agriculture and farming is an essential component to our state’s economy, and the students who participate in McDowell Farm School are going to learn some invaluable skills and knowledge that can be applied to future careers,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “ADECA is pleased to partner with the ARC and Camp McDowell to provide such a unique, hands-on learning experience for students and their teachers.”

The ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments. The agency’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. 


Contact: Russell Sellers, Mike Presley

For more information, visit:  http://www.adeca.alabama.gov/