LINN – State Tech’s application was ranked first among the 14 applications for $10 million in Missouri Agriculture Innovation Grants, and the Coordinating Board for Higher Education …
LINN – State Tech’s application was ranked first among the 14 applications for $10 million in Missouri Agriculture Innovation Grants, and the Coordinating Board for Higher Education approved an award of $2 million, with a $2 million match by the college.
The “Agriculture Technology Center – Phase A, Agriculture Demonstration Farm” grant will allow the college to purchase what is intended to be a working farm that provides hands-on experience.
“In a perfect world, we would find a farm close to the campus where the current owner could continue to operate the farm until they retire from farming,” said State Tech President Dr. Shawn Strong. “We are aware this will be easier said than done, given the demand for quality farmland. Still, we are hopeful that an individual or family who has committed their life to farming sees this as a way to leave a farming legacy.”
Through project-based learning, students will learn how to determine the best use of cropland, maximize crop yield utilizing precision farming technology, and apply the latest in livestock breeding and animal nutrition. Funding will be utilized to purchase the farm, acquire livestock and equipment, and potentially construct structures needed to support crop and livestock production.
State Tech started an option in Agriculture Business two years ago that immediately had strong enrollment. Agriculture Education is an area that has been identified for significant enrollment growth. The college is in the process of starting an AAS Degree related to Agriculture. State Tech intends to get the program approved next spring and start recruiting for the new program next fall.
“The local agriculture industry has been very accommodating for field trips as we build the program,” said State Tech Agriculture Instructor Travis Koenigsfeld. “The addition of the farm will allow us to add laboratory courses and give students more of the hands-on experiences that everyone expects from a State Tech degree. It is going to be very exciting to see this unfold. I am very proud to be a part of such a groundbreaking opportunity and look forward to a successful agriculture program for our students to develop an understanding of real-world experiences.”
Anyone interested in learning more about State Tech’s pursuit of an Agriculture Demonstration Farm can call the President’s Office at State Tech.
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