US (KY): Community college offering hydroponics courses in new greenhouse

Madisonville Community College students and others will now be able to study hydroponics as part of their general or specific studies.

MCC is continuing to expand its offerings in agriculture. Program director and ag instructor April Duncan spoke recently to the I-69 Alliance, describing opportunities at MCC. Students can obtain an associate’s in agriculture as well as other certificates.

While it is still under development, MCC’s goal is to offer the two-year program. Course selection includes ag business and marketing. Horticulture and greenhouse operations are under development, college officials indicated.

Duncan said the on-campus greenhouse was made possible by 2017 USDA grant funds, adding production in the greenhouse began Feb. 22. They are currently growing several types of plant life, and the greenhouse is used for education on how to operate a hydroponic greenhouse in addition to building a business model.

Also addressing the group was Yaneth Peach, who owns 25 greenhouses in Honduras. Peach said, while there are differences between greenhouse operations in Honduras and Madisonville, there are actually more similarities. She noted students are very smart and quickly learn the techniques of operating a hydroponics greenhouse; however, they must gain knowledge on the business side.

Yaneth is looking to build her own hydroponics operation, saying her ideal size is about 20,000 square meters or just more than 4 acres.

Read more at SurfKY News (Ron Sanders)

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