Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Hydroponics on the Horizon

hydroponics 1Screenshot via Yankee MagazineMUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (4/10/14) — Madisonville Community College has partnered with the Muhlenberg County School System to submit a grant proposal to fund the construction of a state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse, to be located at the the Muhlenberg County High School West Campus. 

The Muhlenberg 4-H Nutrition Programs would also play a huge part if the grant gains approval.  

Hydroponics is a complex combination of agriculture, science and technology used to grow vegetables and plants in a climate controlled greenhouse. The process uses numerous water and mineral solutions but no soil. By controlling the climate, temperature, and extending growing seasons to ten months out of the year, many see hydroponics as a huge part in the future of farming.

Craig Dixon, a grant specialist with the MCC Office of Grants, Planning and Effectiveness Department, told SurfKY News that although this is only the first step, with no guarantee of approval, the project has already garnered a huge amount of local support, with grant approvals of $20,000 from the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation, $20,000 from the Muhlenberg County Board of Education and $10,000 from the Muhlenberg County Fiscal Court.

The 4-H would use their already existing programs to help in distribution and other areas. The Muhlenberg 4-H does a great job of distributing information about healthy eating habits through programs like the 4-H Food Explorers program.

The USDA Community Food Projects Program will likely reap positive results from the greenhouse food production.  

"This USDA program is essentially about getting affordable, nutritious food to those in lower income areas," Dixon said. "It would hopefully increase the amount of fresh and healthy food in many students' regular daily diet."

If approved, the greenhouse would also produce fresh vegetables for the Muhlenberg County High School cafeteria, meaning even more fresh produce in students' diets, according to Dixon.

The final draft of the grant has just been sent, Dixon said.   

"The final request submitted to the USDA was just over $86,000," Dixon said. We were to match that with $50,000 in cash, and the rest was made up in  in kind contributions, including the land used, utility hook ups, and qualitative research focus groups. We actually had a little more in matching funds than is required, which is phenomenal."

Jay McElwain has spent 15 years teaching in the highly successful Muhlenberg County School System's Agriculture Department. McElwain noted that the school system has over 300 students yearly involved in the system's agriculture program, with many of those also in FFA. McElwain told SurfKY News the blueprint for this idea came about some time ago.  

"Just over a year ago, Derrick Benton, who is also an agriculture instructor with the Muhlenberg school system, mentioned that MCC was looking for a school system in the area to partner with on the hydroponic greenhouse project," McElwain said. "That sort of got the ball rolling."

According to McElwain, the greenhouse would be a net-zero, self sustaining operation if constructed.

"The spec, as we want to build it would be solar-powered and geothermal heated," McElwain said. "So in a year's time it would generate enough energy to sustain itself. Of course we would have electricity as a backup. All the water used would be recycled. And the thing controlling all this is new technology. So even though it would be an agricultural endeavor, it would also allow for other departments in the school."

With so many in the county, and at MCC backing the hydroponic greenhouse plan, the final decision now rests with the USDA.

Paul McRee
SurfKY News Reporter

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
2/6/2014 - posted
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
2/6/2014 - posted
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
2/6/2014 - posted

In Other News...

Marian Retreat Oct. 18-19

OWENSBORO, Ky. (9/15/14) — Our annual Marian Retreat will take place the weekend of Oct. 18-19 at Mount Saint Joseph… Read More

Following a Dream One Click at a Time

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (9/16/14) — What started out accidental, led photographer Shelby Waltz into something she never… Read More
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
2/6/2014 - posted

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

September 12, 2014 17690

Woman's Body Found in Theater Day After…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
September 15, 2014 3805

Man Accused of Stalking Woman During Her…

in Top Stories by GPD PIO Wes Miller
September 13, 2014 3704

MPD Responds to a Disturbance at Baptist…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 15, 2014 3680

Man Accused of Stealing Rural King…

in Top Stories by MCSO PIO Alex Piper
September 12, 2014 2175

Paradise Residents Plan First Reunion…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

September 13, 2014 3704

MPD Responds to a Disturbance at Baptist…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 15, 2014 1973

Man Arrested for DUI, Carrying Concealed…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 12, 2014 1973

Madisonville Man Arrested for Disturbing…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 15, 2014 1892

Man Arrested for Being Under Influence of…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 12, 2014 1697

Earlington Woman Jailed for Trying to…

in Top Stories by MPD Officer Matt Sanderson

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

September 12, 2014 1463

Ursuline Presentation 'Spirituality of…

in News by Jennifer Kaminski
September 13, 2014 1179

The Gift of Aging Oct. 16

in News by Jennifer Kaminski
September 12, 2014 1136

Owensboro Police Investigate Accidents

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
September 13, 2014 1125

Audubon Bon Harbor Area Alliance to Host…

in News by Abby Shelton
September 13, 2014 1109

Dogwood Azalea Neighborhood Alliance to…

in News by Abby Shelton

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

September 15, 2014 3805

Man Accused of Stalking Woman During Her…

in Top Stories by GPD PIO Wes Miller
September 15, 2014 3680

Man Accused of Stealing Rural King…

in Top Stories by MCSO PIO Alex Piper
September 12, 2014 2175

Paradise Residents Plan First Reunion…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 16, 2014 2013

Postal Worker Arrested for Terroristic…

in Top Stories by GPD PIO Wes Miller
September 12, 2014 1491

Chamber Program Speaker Re-enforces…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06