Situated on site at the southeast side of Chemeketa Community College’s main Salem campus, the new Agricultural Complex will serve as an important hub for the surrounding agricultural community and industry with classroom space, garden/farm demonstration fields, an ornamental yard and beneficial insectary.

The Complex will include new indoor and outdoor facilities for Chemeketa Community College’s Agriculture and Horticulture Programs along with space for its partners, Marion Polk Food Share (MPFS), industry consortia and local school districts.

Central to the development is a new 20,000-square foot classroom and partner building that will feature three community classrooms, a science lab classroom, a lab preparation room, two seminar/conference rooms, a student resource room, faculty offices and work area.

The three community classrooms are designed with an operable partition wall so the spaces can be divided into three 30-person classrooms, one 30-person and one 60-person classroom or one large room capable of accommodating over 100 people. These shared areas will enhance the overall spatial efficiency and create a culture of collaboration key for a vital community hub.

The site features net-zero energy use through the implementation of solar power, natural light, radiant heating/cooling and architectural design. Materials for the complex are sourced from local suppliers, all within a 60-mile radius of the campus.

Chemeketa Community College is also pleased to announce that as part of the Agricultural Complex development on the Salem campus a brand new Woody Ornamentals Demonstration and Learning Lab (WODLL) will be a key addition to the programs at the college. The WODLL will further workforce development, research and education by implementing the production systems used in Oregon to produce woody ornamental plants. The lab will be housed in a half-acre parcel of Chemeketa’s future 5-acre Agricultural Complex. It will provide students opportunities to install, maintain and harvest pot-in-pot, balled-and-burlapped and field grown plant material while conducting research into the growth, maintenance, irrigation and pruning techniques of woody ornamental plants.

Additionally, the college will offer an Irrigation Technician certificate comprising coursework focused on flow rates, pumps, motors, pressure and systems. Non-credit and credit options will be entwined as well as student preparation for Irrigation Association and Environmental Protection Agency standards.

The work of the WODLL is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, AFRI Agricultural Workforce Training Priority Area, award #2019-07599.

Current degrees and certificates offered by Agricultural Sciences and Technology are Horticulture, Electronic Engineering, Crop Health, Irrigation Technician and Renewable Energy.

The college also offers a comprehensive AgriBusiness Management program for local farmers to learn all aspects of farm management, enterprise operations and succession planning. Non-credit programs in pesticide applicator licensing and home horticulture are also offered.

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