The Toro Company today announced that Shannon Ranch Elementary School, in Visalia, Calif., won top prize in the company’s ’Ready. Set. GROW!’ grant program. As a result of the public vote, a $7,000 grant will be awarded to Shannon Ranch Elementary. The grant will enable the school to enhance their life sciences program including installing a water-efficient drip irrigation system at their school garden for use by students throughout the year. The garden will also serve as a model on smart irrigation practices for the surrounding community.
Upon receiving the news, Principal Samantha Tate said, “We appreciate the opportunity Toro has provided Shannon Ranch through the ‘Ready. Set. GROW!’ grant. We envision our school garden as being an essential component of our life sciences programs, kindergarten through the sixth grade. To have the opportunity to teach our students about the importance of agriculture in education, and how our garden can benefit our school community, is an incredible gift!”
Additional grants are being awarded to:
Project FINE — Colorful Growers (Winona, Minn.), which plans to use the second-place $4,000 grant to promote the use of water-saving technologies through education and demonstration, specifically focusing on youth ages 10 to 18.
Armed Services YMCA at Camp Pendleton (Camp Pendleton, Calif.), which plans to use the third-place $2,000 grant to support the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training program, training active-duty service members and veterans in sustainable agribusiness.
North Louisiana Agri-Business Council (West Monroe, La.), which will use the fourth-place $2,000 grant to create an educational display demonstrating the efficiencies of irrigation and best practices in water management.
“We are excited to see these grants go to great organizations that are helping increase awareness of sustainable practices in agriculture,” said Judson McNeil of the Toro Giving Program. “We equally appreciate all those who voted in support of these organizations and their efforts to save water, educate and grow the future of the industry.”
Online nominations for the grants took place in September. At the conclusion of the nomination period, a panel of Toro representatives evaluated and selected four finalists who were asked to submit a brief video further detailing their organizations’ mission. Videos can be viewed at www.youtube.com/toro under the “Company” playlist. The grant awards were determined by a public vote in November on Toro’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/toro.company.