It won’t be long before agricultural students will be gaining valuable first-hand experience actually farming over 65 tillable acres of ground on the campus of Glen Oaks Community College.

Over 60 attendees (invited farm related business owners and local farmers and guests) attended a dinner meeting in late March to hear about this new opportunity for students and learn about the two agricultural related programs on campus.

“In 1965, the farmhouse and 120-acres was donated to the college by a local educator Nora Hagen,” said Reid Leaverton, Ag Equipment Technology instructor. “The farm had been in the Hagen name for 90 years up to that time. For the past 40 years, the campus acres have been farmed by John Pueschel and Fawn River Farms.”

“In January of this year, Fawn River Farms agreed to forego the last year of its lease so we could create this opportunity for our students to farm the ground,” said Leaverton. “We plan to utililze this practical learning experience to experiment and test with research plots in cooperation with local seed companies.”

Leaverton said the college has developed partnerships within the agriculture community to help launch the campus farm. Mendon Seed Growers and Next Generation Seed is providing seed for the 2018 season; GreenMark Equipment is providing seeding and harvest equipment; Burnips Equipment is providing equipment for tillage and Black Gold Farms is providing tools for use on the farm.

“The college recently partnered with the Michigan State University Institute of Agricultural Technology to offer the dual MSU certificate and Glen Oaks associate degree in Agricultural Operations,” said Mark Trowbridge, program coordinator for the GOCC/MSU programs. “All classes are taught either at Glen Oaks or online. The program focuses on plant and soil science, precision agriculture, water management, entomology, plant pathology and farm financial management.”

This past fall, the college launched the Agriculture Equipment Technology program. “The Ag Equipment Tech program is currently housed at Burnips Equipment,” said Leaverton. “We cover nearly all aspects of ag equipment; seeding, tillage, harvest, electrical, hydraulics, etc.”

To learn more about the new agricultural programs at Glen Oaks, visit:  www.glenoaks.edu/agriculture.