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Rimol donates high-tunnel greenhouse to UVM

Recently, we released a press release announcing that we donated a greenhouse to the University of Vermont. Bob Rimol is a 1985 alumnus of the school and graduated from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, which will receive the greenhouse.

HOOKSETT, NH (Oct. 30, 2012) – Rimol Greenhouse Systems of Hooksett, NH, has donated a high tunnel greenhouse to the University of Vermont. Members of the Horticultural Research Center, (part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences), will use the greenhouse for both educational and research purposes.

"I am so excited to see my alma mater be able to use one of our high tunnel greenhouses," said Bob Rimol, a 1985 graduate of UVM. "This is a great greenhouse for educational institutions, as it allows students to understand how a greenhouse like this works, and the practical applications it has for horticultural research."

Colleen Armstrong, the greenhouse facilities director at the college, said the high tunnel greenhouse is top-of-the-line and perfect for the needs of the students. "This is a beautiful high tunnel greenhouse, and allows us to do what we need to at the school," Armstrong said. "It is peaked to shed snow; allows for air convection; and has a control mechanism that gives us the ability to change environmental conditions. And the width of the greenhouse provides us with the flexibility to do farmer training and experimental growing."

The gift was formally accepted by Thomas Vogelmann; dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, a professor of plant biology, and a 1974 graduate of UVM. Vogelmann said "this donation comes to the college at the perfect time. We are working to become the leading university in regards to the study of food systems and sustainable agriculture. Bob Rimol’s donation will help us with this mission."

The first use of the greenhouse will be for the school's Farmer Training six-month certificate program. This intensive program for aspiring farmers and food systems advocates provides a hands-on, skill-based education in sustainable agriculture.

"This program goes into all aspects of managing a farm, and in these six months, students will be working on issues that any farmer would: planting, nutrition, pest control, harvesting, and marketing," Armstrong said. "This greenhouse will be a key part of the program."

Rimol said the benefits of this donation go beyond the education element for the students. "The research and development that comes from this will certainly be a benefit to us," Rimol said. "The student's comments will provide us with information about our greenhouse, and will allow us to improve our products."