Volusia County Farm Bureau President George Benedict and his wife, Ruth talk with Joshua Daniel's 5th-grade class at Burns Sci Tech about their garden project.

Each year the Volusia County Farm Bureau gives away monies in the form of mini-grants to Volusia County agri-science and agriculture educators who teach 4th- through 8th-grades.

The grant funds vary depending on the project, but are limited to up to $200 per grant.

Over the years, teachers in Volusia County have used these grant funds to increase the learning experience of their students, and to peak interest in a variety of areas of agriculture. Past projects include a middle school that produces its own honey, an elementary school butterfly garden, hydroponic projects and more.

Though the amount of grants issued each year is typically up to five, “If (the educator) has a sincere need, then we try to get the money to each one of (the applicants),” said Bill Hester, executive director of Volusia County Farm Bureau.

To qualify, educators need to fill out an application and submit a letter stating the nature of the project, the materials needed and the cost of each item. A lesson plan, including learning objectives, goals and teacher strategies, is also necessary.

The Volusia County Farm Bureau grant committee then reviews the applications and notifies the educators who are selected.

When the lesson is completed, the educator is expected to return a final report on the project to the Volusia County Farm Bureau. The report should include photographs.

Applications are available at the Volusia County Farm Bureau office, 3090 E. New York Ave., DeLand, FL 32724. For answers to questions or for more information call Judy Eyler at 386-734-1612.