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NMU launches only interdisciplinary indoor agriculture program in country

Students have a hands-on opportunity to learn about the medicinal plant and food production industry.
NMU launches only indoor agriculture program in country
Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 11:32 AM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - For the first time at Northern Michigan University, students have a hands-on opportunity to learn about the medicinal plant and food production industry.

The university has implemented the first interdisciplinary indoor agriculture associate degree program in the country this semester.

Assistant Professor Evan Lucas said by using an indoor growing system, students will be equipped to grow plants year-round in northern climates. The goal is to provide tools that lead to versatile careers.

“We’re trying to leave it open to have a lot of opportunities so students can go into multiple different industries and multiple different job positions,” Lucas said. “So, we’ve worked with industry professionals all across the U.S. from New York City to Hawaii and even Canada a little bit, too.”

NMU junior Brenden Ersing is a transfer student. He originally transferred to NMU to major in Medicinal Plant Chemistry, but then heard about this new opportunity.

“I’m more based on the growth of plants rather than the chemistry which is more analyzing and extracting," Ersing said.

For the plants to grow, students use a hydroponic system which means plants grow with only water and no soil. Currently, peas, cucumbers, yellow peppers, eggplants, lettuce and kale are growing in the lab.

Lucas said the committee is working on turning the program into a four-year bachelor’s degree program. They hope it will be ready by Fall 2021.

Click here to learn more about the program.

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