For over 50 years, the plant sale has been a part of the Horticulture, and now Agriscience Program at The Career Elevation and Technology Center (CETC).
The agricultural education program is designed for students that have a desire to learn about the science, business, and technology of plant and animal production, preparing them for successful careers. “Through our agricultural education, students are provided opportunities for leadership development, personal growth, and career success,” said Lauren Hart, Agriscience Instructor, CETC.
Courses include Introduction to Agriscience and Advanced Agriscience, Agribusiness, three animal science courses, and two years of Greenhouse Management. “While the Greenhouse Management class manages and carries out the majority of all greenhouse operations from seed to sale, there are 100 Agriscience students that contribute to the success of the annual plant sale,” said Hart. The greenhouse courses allow students to focus on the biology of horticulture plants, and basic horticulture practices while caring for the program’s on-site greenhouse, being responsible for planting, watering, and cultivating a variety of flowers, and bedding plants and vegetables.
Students are involved in all facets of the plant sale, “they select the seeds and materials to order at the beginning of the year, scheduling, planting, caring for the plants, and working with customers during the sale,” said Hart. “The greenhouse must be cared for seven days a week and students are attending the greenhouse during class, after school, weekends, and during school breaks.”
The CETC greenhouse works to be self-sufficient. Profits made from this year’s sale will be used to support the materials and products needed for next year’s sale. “With the proceeds made, we are also able to support students to attend leadership and competitive events through the Future Farmers of America (FFA) organization,” shared Hart. “Profits also support students attending agriculture and green industry events, and business tours that will benefit them today and throughout their lives as they prepare to be consumers and employees of the world’s largest industry.”
Hart strongly believes that the annual plant sale would not be successful without the support from community members and students. “Our students carry out all management aspects, to the hundreds of community members, and district staff who choose to purchase their plants here – we are grateful to offer such a robust program!”