Bunker Hill, IN, - The USDA recently announced this year’s record-breaking funding for Farm to School Grants.

Maconaquah Cattle Company is one of 126 selected projects across the United States, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to receive grant funding. “We are pleased that the hard work of our students, teachers, and community is being recognized through receiving this grant,” said Maconaquah Middle School Principal, Craig Jernagan.

Maconaquah Cattle Company is an agriscience program that was implemented 4 years ago. As part of this program, students study, feed out, and send beef cattle to be processed for school lunches.

John Sinnamon, MMS agriculture teacher and advisor of the program, said he was excited when he was notified that Maconaquah received the grant. “I am looking forward to applying this grant to our program. This grant will greatly benefit our school, our Ag program, and most importantly our students. The big picture is that we have the backing of the USDA for our schools Ag program.”

The School Corporation plans to use the funds received to expand the scale of the program to supply the entire corporation with local beef and pork, and to provide students with hands-on training to further education in agriscience.

“The USDA grant will help Maconaquah Cattle Company buy equipment that will make it easier and safer to work with our animals. We will also be able to purchase more beef breeding stock and begin expanding our menus in the cafeterias by partnering with local swine farmers and serving locally raised pork,” said Jernagan.

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, said the “USDA is proud to help the next generation better understand where its food comes from while strengthening local economies.”

With support from the community, the ISDA, and now the USDA, the school plans to see this program continue to expand for years to come.