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Monsanto awards $25,000 grant to WDC for high tunnel greenhouse

WDC’s new high tunnel greenhouse will be located directly east of the greenhouse, where the school garden is this summer. The high-tunnel greenhouse addition will provide kids with more opportunities to get their hands dirty while learning about science, math, problem-solving and plant anatomy.

Wadena-Deer Creek School District has been selected to receive a $25,000 grant for a high tunnel greenhouse through America's Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.

"This is exciting," said Richard Muckala, WDC High School ag instructor, who completed the grant application. "I want to especially thank the area farmers who went online, filled out the survey and nominated WDC."

Growing the next generation is very important to farmers, and they realize that WDC Schools is an integral part of that process. To show their appreciation, farmers in the Wadena, Deer Creek and Bluffton area nominated WDC to receive this grant last spring.

After WDC's application was submitted by Muckala, it was reviewed first by math and science teachers from ineligible school districts, then by the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 26 prominent farmers from across the country.

"The Advisory Council was impressed with your dedication to your students and your innovative ideas for improving their educational experiences," said Michelle Insco, Monsanto rep, in an email announcing that WDC had been selected for the $25,000 grant — the maximum awarded to a school.

Muckala said plans are to break ground on the high tunnel greenhouse later this fall or early next spring. The 24-by-72 foot high tunnel would be located directly east of the passive solar greenhouse, a smaller structure completed last fall thanks to funding and volunteers from various local, county and state organizations. The addition of the high tunnel would allow WDC to grow more fresh produce for school lunches and expand agriculture education for students.

For more information, go to or #GrowRuralEd, or visit WDC's website at