News & Updates

October 10, 2019

Snead State unveils greenhouse addition to agriculture, horticulture program

Behind the Snead State softball field, located on King Street, is a greenhouse that was built by Atlas Greenhouse. It features a fully-automated irrigation system, as well as a heating and cooling system. Outside the greenhouse, students took measurements of the site, developed a landscaping design and installed plants in time for the open house event Thursday morning.

Several community members, Snead State employees and elected officials attended the open house where instructor Tom Warren explained what sparked the idea of a greenhouse.
“This has been a culmination of a bunch of different people coming together for a common goal, and that’s for our students,” Warren said. “Four or five years ago, I went to my Division Director Mrs. [Deborah] Rhoden and said I would like to teach a horticulture class. We sat down and started developing the framework, and I started teaching a class called Special Topics in Biology. The class wouldn’t transfer, but I had about 12-15 students to sign up for it.

“Somewhere along the way, Auburn University started working with us, and now we offer four classes that are related to Ag or Horticulture that will transfer to Auburn University,” Warren continued.

The greenhouse was constructed over the summer and funded in part by two grants from the Marshall County Legislative Delegation and Snead State Foundation combined for a $30,000 donation. Sen. Clay Scofield, R–Red Hill, said the greenhouse was a great step made by the college to position Marshall County for a potentially bright future in agriculture.

“As you know, agriculture is very important to me, and it’s very important to the State of Alabama,” Scofield said. “It is still our No. 1 industry, and it’s going to continue to be our No. 1 industry. With the world’s growing population, we have to be smarter in how we grow food. We have less and less land that we can produce food on, so turning out students who have a better idea of how to do that and come up with better solutions is key. California is the No. 1 agriculture state in the country, but there are laws they are passing on water and other animal restrictions that are pushing agriculture out of that state. I would like for the State of Alabama, especially our area in Marshall County, to pick up that business. This (program) is the beginning of how we do that. I applaud Snead State for bringing agriculture back to the campus.”

Rep. Kerry Rich, R-Albertville, said he was also proud of the college’s efforts and looks forward to seeing students benefit from it.

“I’m very proud of this greenhouse here and the students who are going to go through this program,” Rich said. “I want to congratulate Snead and all the people who have been involved in this for making this possible.”

Mike Roden and Drayton Cosby, of the Alabama Mountains, Rivers, Valleys Resource Conservation and Development Council (AMRV), donated $8,600.

“One of the things we’re about at the AMRV is the sustainable use of our resources and also improving the quality of life for the people within our eight county area of North Alabama,” Roden said. “This project does most of those things. We congratulate Snead State for having the vision to do this.”

Now that the greenhouse is fully operational, students will soon begin growing crops inside.

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