Donation improves Lincoln Land Community College ag program  

The donation of a family trust in 2018 has since transformed the agriculture program at Lincoln Land Community College.

Agriculture Professor Bill Harmon tells Brownfield the $18 million endowment from the estate of the late Charles and Irene Kreher allowed them to build a new facility with student gathering centers, updated technology including equipment simulators and labs for hands on learning.

“We have an animal science lab which allows us to bring in animals to campus. We can do horticulture activities indoors whether it’s 95 degrees in July or zero in January. We can build patios or fire pits or gazebos inside. We can fly drones indoors in this space.”

He says their new greenhouse is scheduled to open this summer which will allow LLCC to expand its horticulture program by offering classes like greenhouse management and specialty crops.

Harmon says the money is also used to fund an annual ag industry trip for students within the US and abroad. In May, they took 30 students to Ireland.

“When you talk to a beef and sheep farmer near Dublin, she’s facing the same issues as livestock farmers are here in central Illinois; access to markets, rising feed costs, government regulation. It really helps our students understand that we’re all part of an interconnected system, that it’s not just central Illinois. We’re part of a global economy.”

Harmon says the donation along with the annual interest the trust accrues has also allowed the LLCC Agriculture Department to expand scholarship opportunities.

*Featured image provided by LLCC

Interview with Bill Harmon

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