~by Michelle Miracle~

Sunnydale Adventist Academy in Centralia, Missouri is gradually reshaping the secondary education experience by giving students opportunity to train for church leadership roles, participate in local and international outreach efforts, and gain practical work experience.

“The only way to save our young people is to give them a higher mission than the world is giving them,” said Dean Coridan, Iowa-Missouri Conference president. “We provide students an understanding of what it means to be a leader in their local church—whether as an elder, deaconess, Sabbath school teacher, audio visual coordinator, etc. We also want to help them learn how to integrate mission work into whatever career they choose.”

One of many work opportunities on campus is with Sunnydale Industries (SI), a nonprofit manufacturing business owned and operated by Iowa- Missouri Conference. For years SI has employed students in assembling brushes and oxygen tent respiratory canopies, but their most recent endeavor involves giving people and organizations the opportunity to grow mass quantities of produce on their own property.

Since 2009, Sunnydale has maintained three high-tunnel greenhouses on campus where student employees plant, cultivate and harvest produce. Vegetables grown in Sunnydale Farms greenhouses are used by the cafeteria in making student meals.

Last year a market was built on campus to sell greenhouse-grown fruits, veggies and flowers. The building is the combination of two One-Day School structures donated by One-Day Project founder Garwin McNeilus. The success of this additional SI industry spawned the idea to build and sell greenhouses. Churches, schools or other organizations could have their own fund-generating greenhouse(s) to support various ministries, or individuals could grow their own fruits and vegetables.

In late 2011, Sunnydale students began the process of manufacturing greenhouse kits for sale. Greenhouses of various sizes will be built with the same frame material as the One-Day Church/ School structures. McNeilus has donated the building materials needed for the first batch of frames. A generous gift of $20,000 from Adventist-laymen’s Services & Industries (ASI) will help purchase assembly materials.

There will be two size options: large (20’ wide x 120’ long) and standard (20’ wide x 30’ long). Availability dates for the kits are not finalized. For more information on the greenhouse kits, contact Larry Overton, SI manager at 573.682.2128.

Michelle Miracle is communication/ SS director for the Iowa-Missouri Conference.

Photo Credit: Michelle Miracle/Chris Overton