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Students at Holmen High School learned the value of locally grown food

HOLMEN, Wis. (WXOW) - The aroma of freshly seasoned meats and vegetables drifted through the halls of Holmen High School on Friday.

The line was long at the school's cafeteria, because freshly baked chicken, pork chops, potatoes, and salad were on the menu.

What's unique is that the food is all locally grown by the school's FFA chapter.

Friday marked the sixth year the school can serve lunch with ingredients grown or raised by students. This year's team is 'winner-winner chicken dinner'.

Holmen High School FFA Chapter members Nathan Damaschki and Daniel Best-Kranski, said they felt very proud on Friday.

"I enjoyed seeing the student's happy faces when they started eating the chicken," Damaschki said. "I got a lot of compliments when I walk out of the cafeteria to sit and eat with my friends, they were saying the food tasted good, and how they were surprised how big the pieces of chicken were, I was also surprised!"

"I just wish people outside of Holmen High School could get this opportunity," Best-Kranski said. "This is my favorite part of the year. My friends always ask me at school and people I don't know when this event will be happening, so I think people enjoy the meals if they're constantly asking!"

Michael Gasper, the Supervisor of Nutrition Service for the Holmen School District, said the purpose of winner-winner chicken dinner is to show kids the importance of agriculture. Gasper also mentioned its a great way to show the kids the economic power of buying locally grown goods, and it teaches them where their food comes from.

The lunch is thanks to Holmen High School teacher, Roger King's Future Farmers of America (FFA) classes. Its also part of the Coulee Region Farm2School program, students throughout the Coulee Region.

The memory of Friday's meal will fade, but the school made it a priority to provide fresh produce year-round. There is a greenhouse on Holmen's campus to grow fruits and vegetables.

The kitchen served over 3,000 meals to students in all six of its district schools.

Sarah McGrew

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