Education

Quapaw Nation awarded USDA Farm-to-School grant

QUAPAW, OK - The Quapaw Nation has been named as a recipient of the 2019 Farm-to-School grant program. Quapaw Nation was awarded $49,910 to partner with Quapaw School District to create an action plan to serve more local and fresh foods to Quapaw students.

Funding received will allow students from Quapaw High School to complete hands-on research projects over the course of the 2019-2020 school year. Projects will identify obstacles, resource gaps, and create potential strategies to overcoming barriers with launching farm-to-school activities. Quapaw High School FFA Director and teacher Jason Couch is increasing student interest in agriculture. Couch said working with Oklahoma and National FFA Agriscience fairs has boosted student involvement.

Grant funding will allow recognition of student success at the fairs and will provide $10,000 to fund 2020 research projects. Mr. Couch stated, "Funds provided in the grant will allow students to do better and more in-depth research to further their Agriscience Fair projects and educational experience." 
This year, the projects will also be presented to a Farm-to-School Organizing Committee at Quapaw High School to help create the grant's action plan. 

Project Director Shelby Crum added, "If we want students in this community to eat healthier, local food options, we need students to be invested in new initiatives from the beginning. This grant empowers students to test their own ideas and hypotheses to help make real changes in their school and community."

Quapaw Nation Chairman John Berry is excited about the project. "This is a big step toward achieving important goals to provide better nutrition to our nation members and young people in our community.  It's even better that it's being done in an environmentally friendly and self-sustaining manner," Chairman Berrey said. 

The Quapaw Farm-to-School project is one of 126 projects to receive funding in 2019. Grantees are located all across 42 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, including the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma's project with Miami Public Schools.

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