Eric Tanner Hydroponics

Progress report for YENC23-206

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2023: $6,000.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2025
Grant Recipient: Marlington Local School District
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Manager:
Eric Tanner
Marlington Local School District
Project Co-Managers:
Dan Swisher
Marlington Local Schools
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Project Information


This project will help me to show my students and our small agricultural community the value, efficiency, and sustainability of the practice of growing hydroponically. The students will build, grow, maintain, troubleshoot, market, and share their experiences with our agricultural community showing an alternative method to traditional agriculture. The students will learn the benefits to using a sustainable hydroponic method as a possible source to combat the food deserts that are prevalent in our area. The project will also include field trips to local commercial growers at the school's expense. 

Project Objectives:
  1. Introduce students to the idea of sustainable agriculture through hands-on activities in our greenhouses by implementing a hydroponic leafy greens production program. Students will plan, build, grow, maintain, and market the crop. 
  2. Take students on school funded field trips to local hydroponic commercial growers to learn their best demonstrated practices on how to implement sustainable practices in their businesses. This will also introduce them to the various agricultural career pathways.
  3. Host open houses and give student-led tours of our facilities. This will include all local elementary schools, a local food bank, and community leaders. This will show them what they may be able to do with some of the vacant buildings throughout the lower income areas around us that would also allow them to provide fresh produce where there are few sources available to those living in those areas. 


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Educational & Outreach Activities

1 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
2 On-farm demonstrations
2 Tours
1 Workshop field days

Participation Summary:

100 Youth
10 Educators

Learning Outcomes

51 Youth reporting change in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness
Key changes:
  • Water quality and management

  • Food access

  • Crop production and efficiency

Project Outcomes

1 Grant received that built upon this project
4 New working collaborations
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.