The Willamette Chapter of the OAN has donated $5,000 to the Horticulture Program at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Ore. The funds will go toward the purchase of new propagation tables and a new misting system in one of the program’s greenhouses.
Dr. D. Craig Anderson, dean of the Department of Natural Resources, accepted the check from chapter board members Val Tancredi of Stettler Supply, Robert Van Klaveren of Van’s Nursery, and Joy Burleigh of All-Season Sales & Marketing. “It’s a pleasure to recognize Dr. Anderson and his staff for the vision to see that the nursery industry is going to need an educated workforce in perpetuity,” Tancredi said. “We’d like to support that.”
The Willamette Chapter raised the money at its annual plant sale, held as part of the Ag Fest every spring. Sale proceeds formerly went to scholarships, but with the scholarship trust fully funded, the chapter decided to contribute to the college itself. According to Tancredi, it’s hoped that the Chemeketa program will provide future employees for member nurseries. “These are family owned businesses with limited means, and only the larger ones can afford to hire graduates with a full four-year degree,” he said.
The program is entering its third year, and is guided by an advisory council of industry leaders. Some 18 courses are available, with a practical, hands-on emphasis. During the 2009-10 academic year, there were 247 course enrollments. The program has 30 students majoring currently, and two have graduated so far with an associate’s degree. The fall term at Chemeketa began Sept. 27. For more information on the program, call 503-399-5139 or log on to http://naturalresources.chemeketa.edu.