Hannibal Career and Technical Center to expand agriculture program with new building

Hannibal Career and Technical Center

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Hannibal Career and Technical Center recently was awarded a $250,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Education as part of the passage of Missouri House Bill 3002.

The Hannibal Board of Education, in its meeting on Monday, May 15, approved a financial match of the grant funds. Construction of a 60-foot by 80-foot building is scheduled to begin in June.

HCTC students built the current greenhouse in 2020. Thanks to Enhancement Grant funding, the greenhouse was designed with half the space dedicated to plants and the other half for aquaponics and hydroponics. The program’s growing enrollment in the past six years has caused the current building to become insufficient to meet the needs of expanding agriculture classes.

“The greenhouse has provided numerous opportunities to our students, but with our enrollment increasing and the overwhelming support from the community, we have quickly outgrown the space and require an entirely new building to fulfill the needs of our current greenhouse classes and other agriculture programs,” HCTC director Brent Meyer said in a press release.

The building will be north of the greenhouse in front of Hannibal Middle School.

When school resumes this fall, the interior of the building will be completed by HCTC students from building trades, carpentry, landscaping and agricultural classes. It will house the hydroponic systems, saltwater shrimp tank and a food processing facility for the processing of various goods, including but not limited to vegetables, leafy greens, shrimp and fish.

“Agriculture plays a vital role in Missouri’s economy,” Meyer said. “A key objective of the ag program is to demonstrate to our students that careers in agriculture are viable post-secondary occupations. We are immensely excited to witness the future prospects that lie ahead for the program and our students.”

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