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By CCWeek Staff  /  
2017 October 24 - 09:04 am

Grants & Gifts

A Summary Listing of Grants and Gifts at Colleges Around the Nation

An anonymous donor has given McHenry County College $500,000, facilitated by the McHenry County Community Foundation, toward the first phase of an effort designed to promote sustainable urban agriculture education. The project, “Transforming Sustainable Agriculture Enterprises in McHenry County through the Delivery of Innovative Education,” will provide experiential learning related to intensive, organic food production, business management, and marketing. During a two-year pilot program, the new funds will be used to research sustainable agricultural trends and practices, develop programming to support the needs of farmers, facilitate partnerships across the agricultural community, and promote the use of sustainable practices and food production in the region. “This generous donation will help us expand our horticulture programming and facilities in the area of urban agriculture and local food crop production,” said Bruce Spangenburg, horticulture instructor and department chairman. “We look forward to further developing the educational efforts of MCC related to growing local sustainable food crops to better serve residents throughout the area.” According to MCC President Clint Gabbard, the grant allows the college to continue its mission of providing new career opportunities. “Our vision is to assist the region in continuing the transformation from industrialized farming to sustainable, innovative micro-agricultural enterprises that offer both career opportunities for individuals and families, as well as pathways to viable urban and rural food resourcing,” Gabbard said. A key component of this initiative is to strengthen educational and career pathways in food systems and sustainable agriculture. The goal is for students to learn small-scale organic food production in a farm setting, yearround; learn how to develop and apply sustainable, profitable models for processing and marketing food with area restaurants, grocers, distributors, and farmers’ markets; apply economic, agronomic, environmental and social aspects of farming operations; and learn how to incorporate entrepreneurship principles and practices into sustainable food systems. According to a report published by the Community Food Security Coalition, sustainable and locally-generated food production are becoming increasingly viable alternatives to industrialized agriculture. Local, sustainable food production results in significant societal benefits, including promoting economic and community development, increasing food security, and improving public and environmental health. However, in the Chicago region, few opportunities currently exist for farmers to obtain the agricultural, business management or marketing skills needed to be successful. There are even fewer opportunities to pursue either a two-year or a four-year degree in the field of sustainable agriculture. This initiative will respond to these challenges by promoting greater economic opportunities for current and aspiring farmers, and creating educational pathways for students in the burgeoning sustainable agriculture job market.

Cape Fear Community College (N.C.) received a fully equipped 1989 Suburban Pumper fire truck from the Castle Hayne Fire Department. This apparatus will be used for CFCC’s fire training, including the bi-annual First Responder Academy and weekend Fire/Rescue Colleges. Previous fire truck donations to CFCC were from the Wrightsboro Volunteer Fire Department and the Wilmington Fire Department. The newly donated fire pumper will be used for hands-on training that involves proper procedures for riding and working around fire apparatus, to include advancing hose lines, ground ladder work, driver training, pump operator training, and service testing of fire apparatus. “This truck is fully equipped,” said Becky Porter, public safety training director, “so it will allow students to train with equipment that will be similar to what they will utilize at their own fire department.” Said Chris Nelson, fire rescue training coordinator: “This apparatus has been very well maintained and we are extremely fortunate to have it as an addition to our facility. We are very grateful for this donation. This is a great example of how important community partnerships are in providing excellent service and quality programs for the citizens of New Hanover and Pender counties.”

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