Greenhouse Guru: Horticulture student strives for sustainability

Posted: April 8, 2013

For those who did not grow up around farms, it is difficult to understand everything that must occur to sustain one. And most people don't get to see how the crops actually are grown and how much of them goes to waste every year.
Garrett Morrison enjoys working at the Center for Sustainability Community Garden.

Garrett Morrison enjoys working at the Center for Sustainability Community Garden.

Garrett Morrison, a junior studying Horticulture, has seen these things and wants to take everything he has learned at Penn State back home to improve these conditions.

"I saw firsthand the labor and hard work farmers put into their products," said Morrison, of Latrobe, Pa. "I also saw and was appalled by the vast waste involved in modern agricultural practices.

"Through my experience at Penn State, I was able to connect with other students who shared some of my views and have been able to work with ag leaders seeking to reduce it."

As a transfer student from Westmoreland County Community College, Morrison found a number of opportunities at Penn State that have provided him with hands-on experience. He interns in the greenhouses on campus, where he works primarily on integrated pest management.

He also works at the University's High Tunnel Research and Education Facility, co-managing the facility with another student, and is active at the Center for Sustainability Community Garden.

Morrison's interest in sustainability has been reinforced by his experiences at Penn State, and he is grateful for the opportunities he has been offered by the Department of Plant Science.

"When I go to work, it doesn't feel like work, and when I go to class, it doesn't feel like class," he said. "It all just blends together and turns into a comprehensive experience on food production and plant sciences."

After receiving his bachelor's degree, Morrison plans to attend graduate school to continue his focus on food production.

Learn about the Horticulture major.