Board of Trustees discuss changes in Ag program
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 23:09
Garden City Community College’s Board of Trustee’s met Wednesday September 12. While two members of the board, Steve Sterling and Ron Schwartz, were missing from the meeting, the show went on. The meeting focused mainly on the agricultural department.
The John Collins Vocational Building will also be home to some future renovations. Reconstruction of labs and classrooms in the southeast part of the building will be accommodations for the new programs being offered. Plans even call for a meat storage cooler being installed into what is now a lab.
The cost of these renovations however chose to be a bit higher than the college had planned for. So Dr. Herbert J. Swender recommended that the board take the lowest bid. The offer came from Dick Construction out of Garden City with a bid of $808,401. While the highest bid was approximately $817,800.
Two of GCCC buses have been authorized to be replaced. The purchase of two new buses were made from reserved funds; totaling $200,000.
Day care for GCCC students is now being offered through Community Day Care Center, Inc. of Garden City. The facilities will be moved from the Penka Building and Practical Arts and Sciences to a Community Day care this fall. This will allow hours to be expanded and child age ranges to be varied as well. An estimated total of $18,200 will be paid to Community Day care. Students will have to pay a flat rate of $50 per week. The college will also contribute grounds work at the facility as well.
President Swender stated that the college has seen a 6.7% in fall semester credit hours. He also noted that new articulation agreements were put into place after being finalized and signed with South Dakota-based National American University as well Wichita-based Newman University. Swender was very proud to announce that GCCC was recently ranked as one of the top 24 community colleges in the U.S. for student success by CNNMoney magazine.
It seems that the Ag program enrollment is growing steadily with every year. The program has not only students from Garden City, but from Nebraska, Colorado, California, Missouri and even a student all the way from the nation of Honduras.
Among the Ag instructors, personnel include Agriculture Instructor Cindy Venjohn, Animal Science Instructor Dr. Clint Alexander, and new to the programs are Rosio Ibarra, Technical Program Case Manager, and Austin Voyles, the new Animal Science and Food Safety Instructor. Voyles and Ibarra were brought on as part of the TRAC-7 program.
A series of new certificates are being added to the program including Agribusiness, which has options of either livestock management or agronomy to choose from for future careers. More certificates are also being offered in the new field of food safety and food inspection.
The program has also been working very closely with Ag teachers from Southwest Kansas High School. The students do a multitude of different things, including getting involved in 4H and helping to recruit future FFA members.