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green idea Case Study: Triumph High School By Amelia Levin D r. Michelle Aldrich is on a mission — a green mission. In the last year and a half the culinary arts and consumer science teacher at Triumph High School in Cheyenne, Wy., has implemented a vertical, hydroponic garden in the school's commercial teaching kitchen; incorporated hyper-local food into the school's catering program; and even helped plan and host an intensive, three-day conference featuring local growers, beekeepers and educators in the field of agriculture and sustainability. The best part is that her students — which rotate every nine weeks — couldn't be more excited about getting in- volved. "Our students have a great work ethic and a strong interest in agriculture, food and restaurants," says Aldrich. Triumph's catering program started 15 years ago as a way to raise money for students to compete in the National Restaurant Association's ProStart program. It also provided students an extracurricular activity at a school that lacks sports teams as an after-school option. "We cater 100 jobs a year, from 20-person Cub Scout lunches for moms to wed- dings and barbecues with more than 900 people," Aldrich says. "The program gives students the opportunity to work with other products outside of their classes, and do a lot more cooking and food preparation in larger volumes than just cooking for their own classmates. It becomes a win-win because the customers only end up paying for the food costs, and the students get valuable experience." The program has become so successful that it requires no marketing; word of mouth accounts for all of the jobs it gets. But it's become even more successful since the students have been able to use the harvest from the on-site garden. Funds for the garden came about after Dr. Aldrich wrote, and was award- ed, a grant from the Cheyenne School Foundation in October 2015. She im- mediately contacted a Wyoming-based manufacturer of vertical, mobile and hydroponic gardens. By the time the school had Thanksgiving break, she was able to pick up and install the system with the company's help. ©2017 InSinkErator InSinkErator is a business unit of Emerson Electric Co. *Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency While there's no single solution for managing global food waste, we can all take simple steps that have a positive impact on the environment – like using an InSinkErator® food waste management solution to divert food waste from landfills. www.insinkerator.com/foodservice • 800-845-8345 Food waste produces methane – a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than CO2.* FOOD WASTE FACT: Hands-on learning offers unique green education for students in Cheyenne, Wy. The hydroponic tower system at Triumph High School requires minimal oversight, save the daily watering.