Turlock Unified School District educational farm is finally moving forward, after purchasing land for the project in April of 2013, thanks to several donations.
The 10-acre parcel, located at 625 E. Taylor Rd., was purchased by TUSD on April 9, 2013 to hands-on learning opportunities for TUSD ag students.
Upon its completion, the ag farm will be used by ag students at both Turlock and Pitman high schools. The farm will have livestock facilities as well as several acres of farmland, which will grow food that will go into the food system at TUSD schools.
On Jan. 6, the TUSD Board of Trustees accepted five donations valued at more than $35,000 for various work at the district ag farm.
The donations were from North American Pipe, who donated PVC pipe for the entire project (valued a $12,279.98); FF&J Architects, who donated architectural services for the schematic plans for the house (valued at $17,325); Darrale Patrias Electrical, who donated electrical labor house (valued at $3,41.27); Stanislaus Plumbing, who donated plumbing labor for the house (valued at $2,400); and A. L. Gilbert & Company, who donated $500.
Mark Bender, farm consultant for TUSD, asked the Turlock Irrigation District if they would be able to donate the replacement of a TID canal gate and Taylor Road crossing.
The TID Board of Directors decided against donating the replacement sidegate, citing the replacement would solely benefit the farmers surrounding the TUSD ag farm and not the students.
Despite rejecting the initial donation proposal, Director Michael Frantz said the ag farm was a project TID should be involved in and wanted to discuss other ways to help the students.
Bender said that TUSD spent most of the project’s funds purchasing the 10-acre piece of farmland, which cost $399,900. With most of the funds depleted by the purchase of the land, TUSD and ag students will rely on community donations to make the project a reality.