ISHPEMING, Mich. (WZMQ) – Partridge Creek Farms is partnering with Ishpeming High School to launch a K-8th grade Agriculture Education program to start in Fall 2023. The Agriculture Career Technical Education program will focus on outdoor organic growing techniques at Partridge Creek, while also learning through a new indoor hydroponic growing lab.
“We’ve always kind of been dreaming and scheming with the school in partnership with Ishpemng school to extend that past the 5th and 6th grade,” said Partridge Creek Farms Executive Director of Partnerships May Tsupros.
“What makes our program really unique is that we’re gonna have a working farm right across the street from the school,” said Ishpeming High School Principal Seth Hoopingarner.
Hoopingarner noted that the produce grown in the program will also be sold back to the cafeteria where the students can then enjoy what they’ve put in work to grow.
“One of the things we’re really excited about eventually not right away but our goal eventually is not only to bring the food in the school but to create our own culinary program as well,” continued Hoopingarner.
In Northern Michigan University’s agriculture program, Director Evan Lucas commented that students are taking those lessons a step further and learning to actually grow a variety of food produce with water.
“NFT system is one of the most basic ones we primarily look at growing leafy greens the students will be engaged with this particular system early on this is one of the first things they learn in tour 100 level course,” said Agriculture Program Director Evan Lucas.
The new program will be piloted this year with the hope of launching the curriculum in 2025. In the Upper Peninsula, because are only a few months of natural sunlight, farmers and those who grow produce can use these different methods to harvest year-round.
“Traditionally we have around 60 to 90 days depending on the types of crops and weather conditions. This approach minimizes that weather condition and allows for a variety of crops to be grown,” continued Lucas.
Click here for more information on Partridge Creek Farms and the updates on the curriculum.