Northwest Florida State College on Thursday celebrated the grand opening of the Kay Litke Culinary Arts Greenhouse — a space where students will learn farm-to-table culinary techniques and innovative green practices on the Niceville campus.
"With more than one hundred guests in attendance, it is clear to see the impact the Litke Family has made on this community," they say.
In late 2019, Major General (ret) Donald P. Litke along with his daughters, Sue Farrell and Lisa Pack donated $150,000 to establish the Kay Litke Culinary Arts Greenhouse at Northwest Florida State College to honor and memorialize their beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Kay Litke. As told by the family, she was an exceptional cook and consummate hostess preparing or supervising the preparation of the meals to serve diverse palates around the world in support of her husband’s active duty military career. Her family remembers her fondly for her love of cooking and the joy she found in hosting and feeding others.
“General Litke is a champion for Northwest Florida State College. We are thankful for the continued support from the entire Litke family for our students, the Culinary Arts Program, Athletics and the Arts,” said NWFSC President Dr. Devin Stephenson. “Having the Kay Litke Culinary Arts Greenhouse as a hands-on teaching facility prioritizes our commitment to environmental stewardship, civic engagement and academic achievement.”
The Kay Litke Culinary Arts Greenhouse will provide opportunities for NWFSC students interested in learning about alternative farming techniques, primarily hydroponics. Restaurants in the fast-casual, full-service midscale and fine dining segments of the industry are drawn to fulfill the wants and needs of their respective customer bases, who increasingly prefer locally grown food. By adding sustainable greenhouse operations to our curriculum, we are better able to equip our students with the skills and knowledge demanded in today’s hospitality industry.