North Georgia Technical College Celebrates Grand Opening of Irvin Complex

North Georgia Technical College recently celebrated the official grand opening of the Tommy and Bernice Irvin Aquaculture and Agricultural Mechanics Complex with a ribbon cutting led by Chris Irvin and family members representing the Thomas and Bernice Irvin Foundation.

The Thomas and Bernice Irvin Foundation, named after longtime Georgia commissioner of agriculture Tommy Irvin and his wife, Bernice, seeks to continue their legacy by investing in agricultural endeavors and resources for Georgia’s youth.

“The Tommy and Bernice Irvin Aquaculture and Agricultural Mechanics Complex is a fitting legacy to the Irvin’s commitment to agriculture and agribusiness in our state,” said NGTC President John Wilkinson. “Throughout his career, Commissioner Irvin worked to keep Georgia agriculture on the leading edge of technology. This aquaculture and agricultural mechanics complex will continue that tradition for generations to come.”

The facility opened to students during spring semester 2022 and continues to provide new educational opportunities for students in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences to expand their knowledge and engage in innovative food production practices.

“The Tommy and Bernice Irvin Aquaculture and Agricultural Mechanics Complex will serve students and provide opportunities that will change lives for many years to come,” said NGTC Vice President of Academic Affairs Mindy Glander. “This project will benefit students in several different programs including Agriculture, Environmental Science and Horticulture. By educating our community, we improve our community.”

“The Tommy and Bernice Irvin Aquaculture and Agricultural Mechanics Complex allows NGTC to provide state-of-the-art training in Agriculture, Environmental Technology, and Horticulture,” said NGTC Dean of Academic Affairs Michelle Oglesby. “We are blessed to be able to teach NGTC students these advanced methods of renewable farming. This generous donation will benefit both our school and our community for many years to come.”

Because of the ever-growing population, these students are faced with finding new ways to produce food while protecting the environment. Some of these practices include indoor fish production, hydroponic crop production, and recycling fish waste into fertilizer. Students are also able to gain experience with farm-to-table practices by providing produce directly to NGTC’s dining hall.


“Education is about learning to do and doing to learn,” said NGTC Agriculture Program Director Wayne Randall. “The new facilities have allowed our students to experience the hands-on learning that is so valuable when it comes to replicating the positive outcomes of agricultural production. Our students have been able to hear, see, touch, smell and taste the processes and products that were made possible by the Irvin Foundation.”

NGTC’s School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences is currently accepting students for the Agriculture, Horticulture and Environmental Science programs for fall semester 2022. The fall 2022 application deadline is August 4, 2022. For more information regarding North Georgia Technical College programs or admission, visit or call 706-754-7700.