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US: It all starts with hands-on education to better understand 'next-gen farming'

"Our children need to understand how to grow their own food and provide generational change for their families. This year we saw an increase in science scores that was attributed to the hands-on hydroponic learning program provided by our VA team," says Shelley Mathews, founder, and CEO of FullCircle26 Inc., an organization that provides training in STEM education and soil-les gardening across North America.

Shelley Mathews

FullCircle26 offers schools agtech and STEM/STEAM products, including hydroponics, aquaponics, solar container mushrooms, and training using their 3D Model of Sustainability™. This model is using plants for Education in STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics), vocational, food, health and wellness, and enterprise.

Present in every state
"We grow all types of plants, including leafy and root vegetables, herbs, and flowers. We also use our hydroponic systems for starter plants for soil-based gardens. Our children's programs have proved we can grow almost any type of plant with patience, research, and hands-on activities," as Shelley explains.

Being present in North America and Canada, offering hydroponic units in every state in the union. Having placed over 3000 units thus far, the agtech added more than 200 schools to its resume, which includes elementary to college-level locations. That is because Shelley and her team offer beginner to advanced users a wide variety of agtech products for the controlled environment growing anywhere.

"Our business model is a platform of sales, marketing, distribution, service, and customized training programs. Our clients consist of innovative entrepreneurs seeking access to a wide variety of trade channels, including the education, art, retail (brick and mortar), e-commerce, and commercial industries," explains Shelley.

Jannie Wray pictured with one of FullCircle's systems

Hands-on education on soil-less farming
Leaving the corporate world in 2016 as a vice president of sales to seek entrepreneurship, Shelley started FullCircle26 Inc. in January 2017. With about six months of savings, Shelley had a customer that gave her the first agreement as an independent contractor to represent their art brands. In 2019, FullCircle26 was offered the opportunity to be the North American distributor of OPCOM hydroponic systems and has been shipping the product to schools, consumers, and businesses in a massively growing marketplace ever since.

The company's 'Jannie's Hydroponic Explorers Club' in Virginia, US, has been very successful thus far, as Shelley highlights. The club provides elementary-age children with hands-on activities that teach growing plants hydroponically and soil-base applications with the enhancement of STEM applications plus life skills.

How to collaborate
"We are truly invested in providing solutions and access to agtech products. Therefore, we welcome aligning with like-minded vertical farmers that seek to provide healthy solutions to their schools and communities. We are very excited about the future and seek to expand our 3D Model of Sustainability with agtech products as a model for individuals, schools, communities, and organizations," Shelley shares.

For more information:
FullCircle26 Inc.
Shelley Mathews, founder, and CEO