The Bridgeport FFA Chapter will add an overhead watering system with fertilizer injection to its greenhouse with a $10,000 donation from WESTCO, and the Land O’Lakes Foundation presented on Monday, May 6.
“WESTCO is proud to support our youth throughout the region, and we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Land O’Lakes Foundation,” said WESTCO General Manager David Briggs. “These donations will help fund some great projects that allow students to receive hands-on experience and learn new skills for future careers in agriculture.”
The watering system the FFA club is putting in will allow for more precise use of water in their greenhouse.
“Instead of watering by hand we’ll have a timer to better utilize water, and we’ll also put in a fertilization system. So when fertilization is needed we can run it throughout the water system,” said Bridgeport FFA Director Zach Malcolm
The ability to time watering the plants in the greenhouse will be a useful resource, especially in the summer.
“This will take a little bit of stress off our chapter,” said Bryce Deaver, chapter president for Bridgeport FFA. “Because it’s a little hard to get students there on the weekends and through summer. This way we’ll be able to water our plants all summer.”
The FFA Chapter will grow vegetables and fruit through the summer and Deaver said they would most likely donate the produce.
The irrigation system isn’t just to take the stress off the chapter; it’s also a learning experience.
“Being ag we talk about water use all the time and how to conserve it,” Malcolm said. “This is one way the students came up with conserving water.”
Different plants need water at different amounts and times. The students will be able to monitor the soil moisture and water only when necessary.
The FFA group will also be installing the overhead irrigation and fertilizer injection system. Deaver added it’s a simple kit the club should be able to connect by June.
The donation was made possible by the Land O’Lakes Foundation Member Coop Match Program.
In Total, WESTCO and the Land O’Lakes Foundation have given $40,000 to area FFA chapters this spring.