ETOWAH CO., Ala. (WBRC) - From Huntsville to Montgomery, Etowah High School’s agriscience program is providing colorful flowers and plants all across the state. Small plants and flowers are making a huge difference in the lives of students and their community. Students aren’t just learning about how to cultivate plants, but also how to make a living for themselves.
Coach Skyler Ray says he wants his students to understand agriscience, but more importantly have a skill set and be prepared to enter the workforce after graduation. The high school’s greenhouse is more than just a place to grow and care for plants.
“The more chances they have to become self-sufficient and self-relied. I feel like especially with my job,” says Coach Ray. “I’m doing a better job and I’m giving them an opportunity to learn something and figure out a way to take care of their family.”
The greenhouse started years ago under Mr. Phillip Cherry & Greg Martin. Principal Stephen Hall says their contributions have continued to grant students with opportunities for better livelihoods.
“We had one student last year who went to Wallace State on a scholarship from our greenhouse program,” says Dr. Hall. “There’s an education opportunity. There’s also a business opportunity as well. Our students have to learn not only about preparing the plants and getting them ready for sale. They have to learn about how the business works and how to make enough profit to be able to purchase the seeds to start the process again next year.”
Last year, when the pandemic hit students were told they’d have to move the plants within 24 hours. After a few social media posts, the community rallied around and helped purchase all the plants students worked so hard on.
“My classmates worked so hard and then it just all paid off at the end,” says senior, Trey Thompson.
“I didn’t think our community would back us that well but seeing all those people come out and buy everything, it was great,” says junior, Barrett Nance.
The greenhouse will began selling plants on March 15th. Check out the greenhouse’s Facebook page for more information.