Compeer Financial presents $75,000 donation, tours Kish greenhouse facilities

Photo Caption: Representatives from Compeer Financial presented Kishwaukee College with a $75,000 Agriculture & Rural Initiative Grant at the College’s greenhouse facilities. Pictured left to right are Dr. Kayte Hamel, Executive Director of the Kishwaukee College Foundation; Catherine Marsh, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Horticulture; Mark Ringhouse, Compeer Financial Officer; Kim Rotella, Greenhouse Grounds Specialist; Amy Newell, Compeer Financial Officer; Karen Schieler, Senior Corporate Giving Specialist, Compeer; Rich Alde, Assistant Professor, Horticulture; Dan Crary, Regional Vice President of Core Markets, Compeer; Dr. Laurie Borowicz, President of Kishwaukee College; Dr. Jessica Berek, Dean of Instruction; Chase Budziak, Dean of Instruction; Janet Gallagher, Associate Professor, Horticulture; Michael Dean, Kish horticulture student; and Andrew Goncher, Kish horticulture student.

Kishwaukee College welcomed representatives from Compeer Financial for a check presentation and tour of the College’s greenhouse facilities on Tuesday. Kish received $75,000 through Compeer Financial’s Agriculture & Rural Initiative Grant to support technology improvements in the greenhouse.

Last spring, the Kishwaukee College Foundation applied for the Agriculture & Rural Initiative Grant and was one of six community colleges in Illinois to receive funding. Kish used the grant to purchase new cutting-edge equipment that will provide students the opportunity to learn and train on current tools they will use in the field. As many Compeer clients have noted, one of their biggest struggles on the farm is finding skilled and qualified workers. “Technology is changing in the horticulture industry,” said Mark Ringhouse, Financial Officer for Compeer Financial in Sycamore. “To be on the front end of learning about this equipment will be great for these students as they seek employment. There is a huge need for qualified candidates.” To support students in the completion of their education, Compeer has also committed $2,500 in scholarship support. Scholarships will be available annually through the Kishwaukee College Foundation. “Your financial support helps our students immensely with scholarships and improvements to our greenhouse facilities to educate the next generation of our workforce,” said Dr. Laurie Borowicz, President of Kishwaukee College. “There is a longstanding agricultural heritage at Kish, and this grant supports one of our key programs.” Kish faculty and students led a demonstration of the new equipment and a tour of the recently renovated greenhouse facilities. The greenhouse recently went under extensive remodeling to improve hands-on learning. In addition to the $75,000 grant from Compeer for technology improvements, the College also received a $220,000 state grant from the Illinois Capital Development Board for the greenhouse renovations. The horticulture program offers specialized certificates in several fields, including floral horticulture, greenhouse and garden center, landscape design and plant ID, turf management, hemp and cannabis cultivation, and sustainable horticulture. Students can also build on one or several certificates to earn an Associate in Applied Science degree. In addition to horticulture, Kish offers several ag-related programs like agribusiness, precision agriculture, and diesel power technology. To learn more about horticulture at Kish, visit To learn more about Compeer Financial’s Agriculture & Rural Initiative, visit