GOEHRING AWARDS COMMUNITY-SCHOOL ORCHARD GRANTS
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has awarded grants totaling $51,125 for 12 projects to develop orchards and plant trees in local communities. The grants originally were set at $40,000 but due to positive response and an increased number of quality applications, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture was able to secure more dollars for the grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program.
“The goals of the North Dakota Community Orchard Project are to increase the production of fruit and nut trees that grow in North Dakota, provide educational opportunities and foster community spirit by bringing people together to plant and tend these orchards,” said Goehring.
The grants were awarded to:
- Fargo Union Mission dba New Life Center – $7,470 to create two orchard spaces to provide produce to guests and others in need.
- Valley City Beautification Commission – $9,000 to jumpstart a larger beautification project in the city and provide learning opportunities for city civic groups.
- Pembina County Historical Society – $7,400 to develop an orchard to encompass education, agriculture and nutrition through classes and workshops.
- Hankinson Public Schools – $2,245 to establish an orchard as a learning center for students and members of the community.
- Oberon School District #16 – $3,500 to create an orchard to provide a living classroom for students to learn about horticulture and where their food comes from.
- Northwood Public Schools – $1,600 to plant an orchard to educate students on the growing cycle of fruit trees and bushes, to use the fruit in the school lunch program and to beautify the area.
- NDSU Dickey County Extension – $3,466 to fund two orchard projects in Dickey County, which will provide lessons for youth in planting, tending, harvesting, preserving fruit and pollination.
- Lisbon Public Schools – $1,000 to establish an orchard to provide hands-on-learning for elementary students on how to take care of the orchard and fruit for breakfast and lunch programs.
- Edgeley Public Schools – $7,000 to develop an orchard to be a teaching resource for the school and surrounding community.
- Cheney Middle School Team Thor Self-Contained Programs – $1,244 to plant an orchard to benefit the school and community by providing learning opportunities for both.
- Legacy Elementary School – $5,000 to establish an orchard to teach students of all grade levels about where their food comes from and how to grow it. The fruit from the orchard will also be used for school snacks.
- Metigoshe Ministries – $2,200 to develop an orchard to use as a hands-on learning center for campers, educating them on orchard care and where their food comes from.
Goehring said grant money can be used for plants, trees, planting supplies, soil amendments, irrigation and fencing supplies, but not for permanent structures, capital expenditures or to buy land.