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Amarillo College building new greenhouse, seeks to impact entire Texas Panhandle

Amarillo College building new greenhouse and seeks to impact entire Texas Panhandle. (ABC 7 Amarillo- file photo).

A site that's under construction now, will be a unique asset for Amarillo College's science, technology, engineering and mathematics students come Fall of next year.

"One of the amazing things that this greenhouse gives us, is the chance to have classes that we've never had before such as: horticulture classes, horticulture soils, plant disease, horticulture pesticide management, and most importantly, internships," Curriculum Specialist, Jacob Price, said.

With West Texas being an agriculturally-based place, Price says they'll try to partner with local businesses and the industry to prepare students.

"It is projected that those industries will grow in this area, and we're going to try to keep pace with that, and make sure that we are putting out good, qualified students to take those positions," Price said. "What this adds to Amarillo College education is not only a classroom experience, but a full, working, agricultural greenhouse experience."

Advanced technology and tools are what Gerek Burford, AC's greenhouse director says will make this greenhouse site so unique.

"In our region, water conservation has become very popular recently with all of the water concerns of us running out," Burford said. "so all of these new technologies are actually much more water-efficient than standard practices."

Burford says students can expect a full polycarbonate greenhouse with LED lighting and fully automated controls.

"This is profoundly going to impact what the students are capable of doing based on the access of technology and tools," Burford said. "not only that, but the forward-looking nature of how we're studying agriculture."

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