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Eric Lauver
Donald Snoke

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Students at Trinity High School grow food in a hydroponic facility that combines curricular concepts and community service.

Combining Agriculture, Technology, Careers, and Community Service

Washington, Pennsylvania (USA)
Students in the Advanced Hydroponics Management course at Trinity High School use concepts of agriculture, chemistry, and biotechnology to grow over 800 heads of lettuce and other vegetables and herbs to benefit needy families through the local food bank. The Freight Farm is one of only 6 on a high school campus in the United States. Soon, the farm will be powered mostly by wind and solar power.

Authenticity Meets Community

Eric Lauver, Assistant Principal
“The Freight Farm is an example of what makes the Trinity community strong. Our students are proud to help those who are less fortunate than themselves, and the applications to our curriculum are seemingly endless.”

Eric Lauver, Assistant Principal

Washington, PA, 30 miles south of Downtown Pittsburgh, is home to a diverse economy, ranging from bedroom suburbs to manufacturing, industry, and agriculture.

Trinity High School's Freight Farm is housed in a shipping container on campus, and it houses the equivalent of an acre of farm land, while using minimal resources of power and water.

The fully automated Freight Farm is supervised by Mrs. Jeannette Hartley, a Trinity Agriculture and Gifted Specialist, who has a unique background as a teacher and a farmer with a biology degree. Students in the Greenhouse Production Management course help to plant, maintain, and harvest the crops. Additionally, students from Advanced Placement courses such as AP Chemistry assist with the mixing of chemicals to foster optimal growing conditions.

The Freight Farm grows between 800-1,200 heads of lettuce per week. 800 of these heads are donated to the Greater Washington County Food Bank to benefit needy families within our region.

The Freight Farm has been the catalyst for business and industry partnerships, where students create advertisements and other promotional documents that are used by the Food Bank and other local business partners in their businesses. Additionally, students are actively involved as the producers of food, and they are actively involved in the production of advertisement/promotional materials that are used by our local business partners. All of these artifacts give our students the ability to use 21st Century Skills, such as collaboration and communication, as well as having items to add to a portfolio that students can use in job or collegiate applications.

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Innovation Overview
14 - 18
Age Group
Focus areas
Tips for implementation
Trinity Area School District uses a Freight Farm hydroponic farming facility, funded from a grant from the Local Share Account (LSA), in partnership with the Greater Washington County Food Bank.
Contact information
Eric Lauver
Donald Snoke

See this innovation in action

School district hoping to turn students into farmers
‘Leafy Green Machine’ at high school in Washington County helps feed the hungry
Trinity High School Students Test Their Green Thumbs With New Freight Farm
Freight Farm gives Trinity students high-tech agricultural experience, gives back to community
Trinity Area School District | Freight Farm


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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Secure Funding
Locate a funding source to purchase a container.
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Prepare Site
Choose a site to house the facility.
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Complete Training
Freight Farms supplied training to our staff in Boston.
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Compile a Team to Monitor and Maintain
Students in Agriculture, Science, and Business classes connect to both the production and business sides of agriculture.
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Connect Management to Educational Outcomes
In addition to connecting Business, Science, and Agriculture with renewable power.
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