Horticulture alum finds her passion, career through program at MCC
Emily Zack is in her second year as Farm Operations Manager at the Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus (LUREC) in Woodstock. She oversees two acres of organic fruit and vegetable production. Fresh produce from the farm feeds guests at Loyola’s Woodstock campus kitchen and is sold at the campus farm stand and at a farm stand at Loyola’s Campus Farmer’s Market in Chicago.
“I give lots of tours to different groups that stay at our campus and from our community,” Emily said. “It is wonderful to teach people about growing their own food and what it means to eat sustainably, which is becoming increasingly important. As the farm representative for LUREC, she is a member of the McHenry County Bioneers committee and attends McHenry County Defenders events and Green Drinks meetings.
Emily graduated from MCC in 2009 with an Associate in Science degree in horticulture. “I chose MCC because of its excellent reputation and it was very close to home. With the flexibility of day and evening classes, I was able to work full time and raise my children while completing my degree. The child care area is also affordable and was a wonderful place for my children to go while I was in class.
Emily named Bruce Spangenburg as her favorite MCC instructor.
“He not only taught me much about the field I am working in but also shared genuine enthusiasm about the subject matter in class. Soil science was my favorite class and I often use what I learned in that class. I also applied for as many scholarships that were available at MCC and was awarded quite a few, which really helped with the tuition costs.”
Emily said that MCC is a great place to start a college education and find one’s passion.
“One can take classes in many different areas until that one topic resonates and can become a career. I knew I loved gardening and plants, so I took Intro to Horticulture and fell in love with the fruit and vegetable production aspect. I find it very rewarding to work in a field that I am truly passionate about.”