MALTA – Kishwaukee College recently hosted representatives from Compeer Financial for a check presentation and tour of the college’s greenhouses. Kish received $75,000 through Compeer Financial’s Farm and Rural Initiative Grant to support technology improvements in the greenhouse.
Last spring, the Kishwaukee College Foundation applied for the Agriculture and Rural Initiative Grant and was one of six community colleges in Illinois to receive funding. Kish used the grant to purchase new, state-of-the-art equipment that will allow students to learn and train on the current tools they will use in the field.
As many Compeer customers have noted, one of their biggest challenges on the farm is finding skilled, skilled workers.
“Technology is changing in the horticulture industry,” Mark Ringhouse, chief financial officer of Compeer Financial at Sycamore, said in a press release. “Being at the forefront of learning this equipment will be great for these students when looking for employment. There is a huge need for qualified candidates. »
To help students complete their education, Compeer has also committed $2,500 in scholarships. Scholarships will be available annually through the Kishwaukee College Foundation.
Kish faculty and students demonstrated the new equipment and toured the newly renovated greenhouses. In addition to Compeer’s $75,000 grant for technology upgrades, the college also received a $220,000 state grant from the Illinois Capital Development Board for greenhouse renovations.
The horticulture program offers specialist certificates in several areas, including floral horticulture, greenhouse and garden centers, landscaping and plant identification, turf management, growing hemp and cannabis, and sustainable horticulture. Students can also rely on one or more certificates to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree. In addition to horticulture, Kish offers several agriculture-related programs such as agribusiness, precision farming, and diesel power technology.
To learn more about horticulture in Kish, visit kish.edu/horticulture. To learn more about Compeer Financial’s agriculture and rural initiative, visit www.compeer.com.