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State Technical College of Missouri Gets Greener with Clean-Burning Propane-Fueled Lawn Equipment

Donation by MO-PERC to School’s Commercial Turf and Grounds Management Program Applauded by State Government Officials

State Technical College of Missouri (STC), located in Linn, Mo., gets even greener by adding environmentally friendly, propane-fueled lawn equipment to the college’s Commercial Turf and Grounds Management program through an equipment donation by the Missouri Propane Education & Research Council (MO-PERC).

According to Dr. Donald Claycomb, president of STC, the school was dedicated to green practices before the ‘going green’ trend existed. For more than 25 years, the school has embarked on cost effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly initiatives on campus and in the classroom. “Because of its clean-burning properties, propane-fueled lawn equipment is a natural fit for STC’s progressive outlook toward reducing our carbon footprint. We thank MO-PERC for their generous donation and support on this initiative,” said Dr. Claycomb.

According to a study conducted by the Propane Education and Research Council, propane-fueled mowers reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 48 percent over gasoline-powered mowers. In addition, propane mowers can operate during Ozone Action Days when local regulations ban the use of gasoline mowers until the early afternoon to protect air quality.

“I applaud State Technical College of Missouri’s efforts to utilize cleaner-burning, energy-saving equipment on campus,” said Senator Frank Barnitz, D-Lake Spring. “We have worked on a state level to encourage ingenuity in the field of alternative energy, and this project is just one example of the steps that State Technical College of Missouri is working to improve upon by increasing their energy efficiency.”

Ryan Klatt, department chair of the Commercial Grounds and Turf Management program, said the goal of the STC program is to provide students with a well-balanced education to become successful landscape and turf management professionals. The students’ access to propane-fueled equipment will familiarize them with this new technology and prepare them for future endeavors.

“Environmental responsibility is a growing trend in our industry, and part of our curriculum involves teaching students about practices that reduce environmental impact. Propane is a great solution not only because it is non-polluting, but it makes good business sense as well,” said Klatt.

In fact, 90 percent of propane drawn from tanks is converted to energy, meaning less waste and reduced costs. Clean-burning propane leaves no lead, varnish, or carbon deposits that can cause engine damage, decreasing maintenance costs. Also, the price of propane is generally cheaper during the summer months when landscapers are busiest for reduced fuel costs.

“STC is at the forefront of creating awareness of the benefits of propane-fueled equipment and its use among our students. We recognize the importance of using efficient, effective, and available equipment and will educate others of these benefits at a demonstration on August 12th,” said Dr. Claycomb.

To commemorate STC’s latest initiative, the event is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on August 12, 2010. Speakers will include Dr. Claycomb, Klatt, and MO-PERC Executive Director Steve Ahrens. State and local government officials, including Senator Frank Barnitz, D-Lake Spring and State Republican Representative Tom Loehner, 112th District will also attend  in support of this initiative. Landscapers and turf management professionals around the state, the STC Commercial Turf and Grounds Management Advisory Committee and STC students, staff and alumni are encouraged to attend.

The turf management, landscape, and horticulture industry is a major component of the green initiative and accounts for sales of more than $25 billion annually. STC’s Commercial Turf and Grounds Management program contributes to the green economy by emphasizing the responsible use of products and appropriate plant selection to maximize the environmental benefits of healthy lawns and landscapes.

With more than 35 programs, State Technical College of Missouri is Missouri’s only public two-year technical college with a statewide mission.   STC has campuses in Linn, Mexico and Jefferson City.  STC prepares students for profitable employment and a life of learning.    

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