Substantial donation allows students to learn hands-on in a new greenhouse

A greenhouse will be built on this spot on the Indian Hills Centerville campus.

A gift of $500,000 will allow the Centerville campus of Indian Hills Community College to build a massive greenhouse on site for student use.

The gift was given by Appanoose County philanthropist Morgan Cline, who was inspired by a similar facility out east and wanted to bring something similar to Southeast Iowa.

"We decided that having a food production facility would be a key piece to our program here," said Brydon Kaster, Associate Professor of the Sustainable Agriculture program. "So Morgan's vision and our vision for what our program's all about really came together and created this really awesome project that is going to have a huge impact on our program and our offering to our students here."

Students in the Sustainable Agriculture program study agronomy, conservation, animal science and a unique to Centerville agri-forestry program. The new greenhouse will allow students to get hands-on experience building different types of soil, learning the physiology of plant growth and getting involved with produce marketing.

The greenhouse complex will also include a learning center, welcome space, classrooms, offices and a processing center. Kaster said he hopes to be growing cool-weather crops by the end of this year.

"We feel really blessed that Morgan Cline kept us in mind and thought that we were worthy to carry out this project and to really enhance his legacy that he's built in this area," Kaster said. "Morgan has spent a lot of time and energy in revitalizing this area and we're really grateful that we can be a part of it."