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December 20, 2013

Funds to be raised for greenhouse.

MT. VERNON — —

The FFA Alumnus of Jefferson County will start a collection drive to fund building a greenhouse at the new Mt. Vernon Township High School location.

The goal of the drive is to raise between $50,000 and $75,000.

Three companies have already donated to the fundraiser, including Farm Credit with $500, Beau Brehm Farms with $1,000, and Adams's Farms Inc. with $5,000. This makes a grand total of $6,500 to be donated to the Mt. Vernon High School Foundation.

Farm Credit hosted a special ceremony Thursday afternoon, during which company officials presented a check to FFA members for the greenhouse project.

"We chose this project because we wanted to ensure that we could receive a two-to-one matching grant from the state for the greenhouse," said John Kabat, the FFA advisor for MVTHS.

All donors will be recognized on a plaque that will be displayed at the new MVTHS site. Different levels of donations — bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond — will also be acknowledged.

Mark Kabat, Regional Manager at Farm Credit, said his company made its donation because company officials want to support those who support them.

"We support agriculture concerns because that is where our business is and the future," Mark said.

John Kabat said this project is very important for the students in the horticulture and agriscience programs.

"We are trying to teach more students how to have their own community garden to provide food for themselves," said John Kabat.

Noah Capps, a current FFA member and a junior at MVTHS, said he is excited about the plans for the greenhouse. He mentioned that his class will be the first to benefit from the new facility.

The current greenhouse is only 12 by 30 feet and is also shaded for part of the day, which has caused issues in the past.

The greenhouse is a learning laboratory that serves four classes with a total of 120 students.

Initial plans are for the new greenhouse to be approximately 30 by 48 feet.

Having more room and a better-lit area should improve the produce that comes out of the greenhouse, and benefit the students with a better learning environment, John Kabat said.

Official plans for the new greenhouse have not yet been finalized.

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