Hydroponics-Based Sustainable Agriculture Vocational Training Opportunity for Students with Multiple Disabilities

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2023: $3,342.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2025
Grant Recipient: Edgewood High School
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Manager:
Holly Dainton
Edgewood High School
Project Co-Managers:
Patti Bowers
Edgewood City Schools


  • Vegetables: greens (lettuces), tomatoes


  • Crop Production: hydroponics
  • Education and Training: networking
  • Production Systems: hydroponics
  • Sustainable Communities: employment opportunities

    Proposal abstract:

    Through providing my high school students with multiple disabilities hands-on experience growing their own food utilizing hydroponics in the classroom setting, they will learn about and see first-hand what sustainable agriculture, social responsibility and having a self-subsistant food supply looks like.  Given a controlled environment and supports, our students will gain employability skills as well as life skills through this opportunity. Connection with local farmers (traditional and hydroponic) will encourage job exploration and transfer of skills learned to a competitive gainful community employment setting.  Pairing with typical "Buddies" from our school's FFA program will enhance the experience for all. 

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Introduce students with multiple disabilities to hydroponic farming as a sustainable and environmentally responsible method for food production.
    2. Give students on-site, hands-on vocational training through employability skills experience with hydroponic growing systems.
    3.  Make local connections for students with area farmers (traditional and hydroponic) to see transfer of skill and potential for future gainful competitive community employment opportunities.
    4. Inform our school's community of our experiences through social media, presentation at a board meeting, news coverage and offer abundance of produce grown with potential of fundraising as a means to continue the project into the future. 
    5. Inspire our students and their families to adopt health consious eating habits by exposing them to and providing them with nutritious and delicious produce.
    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.