Schools- Healthy Eating

In 2016, only 60 percent of Minnesota 5th graders reported eating one fruit or vegetable a day in the last week. Eleventh graders reported consuming one fruit or vegetable a day. -MDH

Success Stories:

Yellow Medicine East, YME:
YME Agricultural and Science Research Facility is one of the only enclosed and completely controlled greenhouses in the state of MN and possibly the Nation. This is a closed system greenhouse fueled entirely by LED lighting systems and is very energy efficient. The greenhouse is maintained and supervised by the environmental sciences, agriculture, and horticulture club. The greenhouse opened in 2017 with over 5,000 tomato and pepper plants ready to sell, and has since expanded their growing with aquaponics. Aquaponics is a closed loop system for plants and fish to grow together. YME had the opportunity to apply for the Bush Grant, which they were awarded to make this huge effort possible, along with the help of Fagen Inc. and other donators. 

Thank you to Jake Suter, Darrel Refsland, and Ben Lacy for bettering the health of our community!



Dawson Boyd School District:
SHIP partnered with Dawson Boyd School District in 2017 to increase healthy eating through the use of a greenhouse and garden. Dawson Boyd’s School Garden and Greenhouse is maintained through by the Food Service Director, Peggy Hill. This year through the Community Ed.  partnership, the garden/greenhouse was a huge success. The Community Ed. & Rec were huge supporters of the garden/greenhouse; the program was able to have fresh vegetables everyday for lunch and snack. Community Ed. also expanded their knowledge of vegetables, bugs, and the environment by learning about the greenhouse, reading gardening books, and making environmental crafts during the program. Next Steps: Peggy Hill is teaching the FACS students how to cut and freeze produce to be used later on in the school year! 

Thank you Peggy Hill for bringing this healthy eating initiative to Dawson! 



Kerkhoven, Murdock, Sunburg; KMS:
KMS has the opportunity to utilize the Murdock Community Garden for healthy snacks and mini field trips by gathering produce as they need. This year KMS partnered with SHIP and planted their own apple orchard! We have started out with four apple trees as a pilot! We can’t wait to see these trees grow! 



Benson School District: 
Benson School Food Service Director, Jeanine Bowman and other Benson School staff have built and maintained a gorgeous garden in Benson. The High School is the home of the large school garden. As well as the FFA/Agriculture green house, lead by Nancy Loen, - which supplies leafy greens throughout the winter. The Elementary is also the home of a smaller garden with pumpkins. Benson School has the help of FFA and many students in the spring to plant the gardens and staff is hired throughout the summer to maintain the garden. SHIP has also helped Benson School purchase equipment to be used in the kitchen for easier produce preparing. Way to go Benson! 


If you are interested in partnering with us to make healthy school food changes, we would love to hear from you. Contact Countryside SHIP.


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