The Polk County Boot Camp recently was awarded the "Outstanding Agricultural Program of the Year" by the Polk County Farm Bureau.
The award recognizes the Boot Camp's “Vocational Greenhouse Program” - an agricultural vocational program that features a fish farm and hydroponics system for growing plants. Using the equipment, recruits grow a range of edible vegetables and herbs on aquaponics tables, and tilapia and shrimp are raised in a free-standing hydroponics system.
More than 750 pounds of vegetables and fish have been donated to local food banks. An array of plants, trees, annuals and perennials also are grown in the nursery and gardens for use in landscaping projects in the community.
This is not the first time the agricultural program has been recognized - the Dept. of Juvenile Justice gave the program a “Best Practice Award” in June. Special recognition also goes to two Boot Camp teachers, Ray Holbrook and David Wiggs, who have spearheaded the project and helped to make it such a success.
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