College endorses plan to keep farm, ag program

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March 11, 2015 - 12:00 AM

ACC administrators decided to hold their horses on selling the college farm.
College president John Masterson read a statement suspending his recommendation to sell the college farm at Tuesday’s trustees meeting of Allen Community College.
Since last summer trustees and college administrators have looked into the agriculture program and the use of the college farm. The farm was brought to the trustee’s attention last summer after an evaluation showed the program’s enrollment numbers were slipping and the farm appeared to be used only by eight scholarship students who lived in the Zahn Scholarship House. A farm manager also lives on the farm.
 Masterson investigated an appraisal of the farm while Jon Marshall, vice president of academic affairs, worked with the agriculture department instructors to utilize the farm more.
“We feel we can continue to grow our ag program,” Masterson said.
Masterson said ag instructors will continue to focus on recruitment of students to the program and continue to build their relationship with Kansas State University and other four-year institutions.
Masterson said they will continue to monitor the ag program.
“As we look for ways in which to cut expenses, nothing can be left off the table,” he said. “The farm must become more than a place for eight students and a manager to live.”
Zahn Scholarship student Leah Schultz thanked the trustees for not selling the farm.
“We already have a list of items we need to do to make the farm look more presentable,” Schultz said. “We have more and more people visiting the farm.”
Scholarship student Dakota Ferguson said the farm has already been a big asset to him.
“I grew up on a farm and being here, I’ve already learned so much from the program and the other students,” he said.

THE trustees approved a contract with Jani King to clean the residence halls and duplex floors during the summer for $22,850. The college used the same company last summer.
A mini van bid for $18,890 from Shields Motor Company was accepted. Three 15-passenger vans were also approved for $85,4000.
The trustees agreed to a three-year contract with Cox Communications. It will be $11.98 per unit per month for the first year. A 10 percent increase will occur after the 13th month.
Marshall and online dean Regina Aye have worked together to create more courses for the pharmacy tech degree. Marshall asked Aye to compare ACC’s program to other colleges in Kansas so ACC could be a top competitor in pharm tech. Aye researched the programs and Marshall proposed several courses to trustees so that the program would match theirs.

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