Courtesy photo

Pictured left to right: Dan Zylstra, superintendent of West Central School Corporation; Katie Cook, FFA advisor and ag teacher, Frontier Junior/Senior High School; Pat Culp, superintendent of Tri-County School Corporation; Keith Thackery, superintendent of Carroll County School Corporation; and Dan Sichting, superintendent of Frontier School Corporation.

WHITE COUNTY — Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN) has awarded more than $1 million in grant money from its $10 million Regional Cultivation Fund.

This first of five rounds of funding — provided from a larger $38.9 million regional grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. — will increase education, vitality and connectivity throughout WHIN’s 10 counties: Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, Warren and White.

Frontier, Tri-County, West Central, Eastern Pulaski and Carroll Consolidated school corporations collectively received a $10,000 planning grant to make their local FFA land plots test centers for Internet of Things (IoT) sensor technology via use of weather stations.

These digital agriculture test sites will become living labs for students, area farmers, and ag businesses to see data collection in progress. The weather stations will allow students to analyze data on soil moisture, temperature, and wind speed.

Area farmers and agriculture businesses will have the opportunity to become a part of the test with ground they own. The grant will facilitate IoT agricultural education and regional connectivity which are primary goals of WHIN’s Regional Cultivation Fund.