Toro's 'Ready. Set. GROW!' winner announced

Visalia, Calif.-based Shannon Ranch Elementary School has won the top prize of $7,000 in the Toro Company's 'Ready. Set. GROW!' grant program.

Nominations for the contest were submitted in September, after which a panel of judges selected four finalists, who were then asked to submit a video detailing their mission. Toro left it up to the public to vote for the winning finalist in November.

As pledged in their campaign, the school will put the money toward its life sciences program, which will include the installation of a water-efficient drip irrigation system at the school garden.

“We appreciate the opportunity Toro has provided Shannon Ranch through the ‘Ready. Set. GROW!’ grant," said principal Samantha Tate. "We envision our school garden as being an essential component of our life sciences programs, kindergarten through the sixth grade. To have the opportunity to teach our students about the importance of agriculture in education, and how our garden can benefit our school community, is an incredible gift!”

Grants were also awarded to the three other finalists: Project FINE - Colorful Growers in Winona, Minn., Armed Services YMCA at Camp Pendleton in Camp Pendleton, Calif., and North Louisiana Agri-Business Council in West Monroe, La.