BY KAREN CAMPBELL
Weakley County Schools Communications Director
GREENFIELD (April 16) – Five workers from Scenic Acres in Elkton, Kentucky, drove down the alley on the east side of the Greenfield High School gymnasium early on a Tuesday morning. Less than eight hours later, Greenfield School had a new greenhouse, and students there were anticipating new ag opportunities in the 2021-22 school year.
Reviving the one-time ag option of plant soil science and landscaping at Greenfield has been teacher and FFA advisor Matt Humphrey’s dream since arriving at the school nine years ago.
“Having graduated from Dyer County, a school known for its greenhouse, I wanted to bring the opportunities I had enjoyed to students at Greenfield,” Humphrey explained. “Not only is it another platform for learning ag essentials, we will also help introduce business and marketing skills as we develop work-based learning through our plant sales.”
Helping move the dream closer to reality was Career and Technical Education Supervisor Lindsey Parham, who came to Weakley County in 2019. As the McKenzie High School ag teacher, she had established a thriving greenhouse program there and had seen it become self-sustaining after only two years of operation.
“I knew the value of taking information off the page and literally getting students’ hands dirty with real-life ag experiences,” said Parham.
She also had the knowledge of the quality work of Scenic Acres.
“I had no doubt they would have the structure complete before sundown because I’d seen what they could do. I also know that what they build is sound, so I’m looking forward to growing this program at Greenfield for years to come,” she added.
Weakley County Schools have two greenhouses already in operation. One is located at Dresden High School. The other is at Westview.
Since building and fully equipping the greenhouse comes at a cost of approximately $20,000, Humphrey started fundraising in the spring of 2019. While local funds within the county school budget covered much of the structure, the essentials such as tables, potting soil, wheelbarrows, carts, pots, tools as well as a hydroponic system and irrigation system will need to be covered by other funds. Currently, he and students have raised more than $6,000.
“We would like to raise at least $10,000 and give the community a real sense of ownership,” said Humphrey. “Of course, we will also be glad to see the community support when they are in need of the common house plants and hard-to-find garden plants we will be selling next spring.”
Humphrey is thankful of the contributions that have already been collected thus far including these individuals and businesses at the following levels:
Rising Sun: $1000+
James & Patsy Brawner
City of Greenfield
Greenfield Banking Company
Williams Funeral Home
Akin & Porter Produce Inc.
Ear of Corn: $499-$250
Joe & Kathy Atnip
Ervin Feed & Grain
Greenfield Monument Works
Weakley County Farm Bureau Women
Huffstetler & Sons Seed
Robinson & Belew
Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers