Agronomic crop farmers in southeast Missouri want to diversify their crops due to shrinking margins and instability prices. Hydroponic crops are a sustainable alternative because they have year–round production, use less resources, have higher yields per area, have lower environmental risks, are well suited for urban agriculture, and are profitable. This project aims to educate the next generation of farmers that will cover the knowledge gaps and incentivize the creation of the infrastructure required to support the emerging new sector. We will use a hands–on approach to teach students about sustainable hydroponic farming as a viable career path.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Increase high school student’s knowledge and interest in sustainable hydroponic crop production through hands-on lectures with a commercial farmer, extension specialists, and nutrition program associates.
- Show students the potential of sustainable hydroponic farming as a viable career path.
- Develop student’s skill through hands-on experience with different hydroponic systems.
- Incentivize healthy eating habits by showing students how to cook, process, and consume hydroponic crops.