Sunday, March 16, 2014
“He don’t know sheep s**t from shinola.” That expression has been around from the 1940’s but it is still used today. I know this because I heard variations of the saying a number of times at the meeting on Kemptville Campus on Saturday.
Alumni, farm families, local businesses, college staff and students are often passionate and outspoken about their love for the nearly 100-year-old agricultural school and the role it plays in the
Ontario agri-food industry. Many feel that those in power at the University of Guelph
are too far removed from the rural roots of
to fully understand the impact of this decision. Nearly 400 people came to
voice their opinions and to commiserate in their disappointment, but they also
had some really good ideas. Now they just need some help implementing them.
Enter the OFA. Kemptville College
The OFA summit agenda on March 15th was completely taken over by the topic of the closure of Kemptville and Alfred campuses of
. Just three
days had passed since the official announcement was made that the schools would
not be accepting new students in the fall, and the classroom doors will close
in May 2015. That announcement took many people by surprise, and they were
still looking a little shell-shocked on Saturday. University
Organizers managed to keep speakers on point and steered away from politics. Leeds Grenville MPP Steve Clark was on hand to repeat his request for a 2-year-moratorium on the closure decision, to buy the college more time to investigate other sustainable solutions. The Parliamentary Assistant to the Ministry of Agriculture was also in attendance, pointing out that “great strides have been taken since the announcement had been made,” at least in the case of Alfred Campus, which has had a partnership offering from Cite Collegiale.
Kemptville College Foundation Mac Johnston is looking for committee members from all areas of business, fundraising, educational and research expertise. He also needs volunteers to step forward, to carry out the menial tasks that will have to be done in order to implement decisions as they are made. If you are interested in getting involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
My two cents, if you want them, is that
must remain open as an educational institution. However, I believe that change
is a good thing, and the decision by Kemptville College Guelph to
sever ties with Kemptville as a school is a sign to us that perhaps we never were
accepted as a viable part of . Funding comes
from a number of sources for Kemptville Campus programs, but that funding is
not sustainable. If they get an emergency cash infusion, we will just be in the
same place in another few years. Guelph
It’s time to get back to basics. Before joining
Guelph in 1997,
Kemptville hosted a community agricultural college. Today we could definitely
take advantage of the growing movement toward sustainable local food practices
and provide both classroom and distance education courses on those subjects. Maybe
we could be an Algonquin College South. The grounds provide ample space for
practical hands-on education in organic gardening and sustainable farming while
future food safety workers, manufacturers and cooks would be learning the other
parts of the supply chain. Classes would be taught by people who are currently
running businesses or working in the industry.
want the opportunity for their children to learn the family business close to
home. Let’s continue to provide that for them.
Kemptville Campus has a booming business right now in the skilled trades. That should be supported and allowed to thrive. KC also has a thriving International Business Development Centre. We can teach developing countries how to farm in a way that is sustainable and cost effective. We have so much to offer.
is where my
mother worked for 37 years and I climbed into trees and read a book while I
waited for her to finish her day. It’s where I met my husband, the Farmer. He
has taught there for 24 years. The thought of it closing just makes me cry. I
can’t help thinking we live in a society where we throw things away when they
aren’t working effectively, instead of coming up with solutions to help things
If you would like to be part of the discussion on the next incarnation of
, contact Mac Johnston
at the Kemptville College Foundation. Kemptville
Posted by Diana Leeson Fisher at 11:07 AM