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Forever Green – Agriculture Learning Center


We’ve got a tremendous
resource in the RT Wright farm. We’ve had that
since the mid ’70s. The biggest challenge
that we have is that there is no
academic space on the farm. We feel that with the
Ag Learning Center, we know that there is
going to be an opportunity to get students onto the
farm on a regular basis. And really, it
takes the classroom and interconnects it
with the university farm. And we see that as, again,
taking our curriculum to the next level. I think the benefit of
the Agricultural Learning Center being on the school farm
is going to impact academics greatly. So the opportunity to
have a classroom where you can intro the lesson– then go out and maybe work
through a litter of pigs, or evaluate livestock, or maybe
preg check cows, or something like that– and then, being able to come
back out of the elements into a classroom
to discuss it, where those ideas are
still fresh in your mind instead of waiting for
the next class period. It gives us some opportunities
that we don’t h ave here. For example, research plot,
the demonstration plots. There are small plots,
and it doesn’t quite mimic exactly the scenario
in the large plot. When we go on the farm,
we’re going to field scale. So we start off here
on campus, and for some of your lower-level classes, you
could do those field plots. But then, you really want to
get into the meat of the matter. You need to be able to look at
it as a farmer would see it. And a lot of these
kids are farmers. And we have to be
able to show them what they’re going to
experience on their farm, or how they apply the
information we get in class. This has been designed
all along, not only to meet the needs of Northwest
Missouri State University, School of Agricultural Sciences
and the university as a whole. In addition, we’ve taken a look
at the industry and said, OK, what does the agricultural
industry need? We can provide opportunities
for our students to interact with the
industry professionals in a different way. We can host events. Capacity for the
Ag Learning Center in the exposition area
seating for 500 people– that is something that
we don’t currently have. I think, it’s a
community resource. And anytime we can
bring community, industry and the university
together, it’s going to strengthen what we do. As a leading
agriculture company, Corteva Agriscience is
extremely pleased with the focus and the initiative of the new
Agricultural Learning Center at Northwest. That investment
that they’re making will not only help to
bring in new students, additional faculty, but it
also shows a great commitment to the industry– something that we greatly need. If we’re going to
teach agriculture, and we want students to have
a complete understanding about the farm, what
better facility for them to go into a classroom and then
step directly onto the farm. And that makes the difference. It’s that key component
that the hands-on learning, the profession-based experiences
are vital to the success for the School of Agricultural
Sciences here at Northwest. And because of the
Agricultural Learning Center, we’re going to be
able to provide those opportunities
throughout the curriculum across all areas. I see it as an
opportunity for Northwest. With that facility out there,
they should be able to become a learning center
for four-state area– and not just for college
students, but for everybody. I think this can be
much more far-reaching because a facility
like this doesn’t exist just everywhere in the Midwest. This could really have an impact
that we probably can’t even imagine right now. This isn’t money wasted. This isn’t going to be just
a building up on a hill somewhere. When you’re
investing your money, you’re investing into
the lives of students just like me every day, who
are going to go out there, and they’re going to learn. They’re going to blossom. They’re going to be the next
generation of agriculturalists.

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