Public Relations | Press Releases
Release date 01-07-13
KVCC receives $100,000 grant from Jane’s Trust to benefit planned two-year Sustainable Agriculture Program
Hinckley, ME – Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC), through The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges, has been awarded $100,000 from Jane’s Trust that will benefit efforts to establish a two-year degree program in Sustainable Agriculture at the College’s new Harold Alfond Campus.
The grant will be used to purchase a tractor and attendant equipment and accessories necessary for cultivating, plowing, planting and harvesting on the farm in Hinckley where the new program will be based.
The grant will also be used to hire a manager for the farm.
The two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Sustainable Agriculture will be the first of its kind in Maine, and work to design and fund it is well underway. Once operational, it will be the first active KVCC program based at the new campus.
“This grant will enable KVCC to take steps that areof critical importance to the early stages of development of the new Sustainable Agriculture degree program and the farm itself, such as hiring a farm manager,” KVCC President Barbara Woodlee said. “We are grateful to Jane’s Trust for this generous support, and pleased that we are now one step closer to seeing this important new program become a reality.”
Plans call for the 120-acre farm at the Harold Alfond Campus to become a regional and statewide hub of agricultural sciences education. Approximately 110 acres will be used by KVCC, including 20 acres of tillable sustainable fields, 90 acres of pastureland and hayfields, a farm pond, three barns, and a vehicle storage facility.
Agriculture has an estimated $1.7 billion impact on the Maine economy, and the state is at the forefront of the nation's vibrant organic, artisanal, and locally grown food movements.
In spite of the industry's central importance to the Maine economy and its significant growth potential, the state lacks a two-year degree program in agricultural sciences to prepare the next generation of skilled workers for this growing sector of the economy.
As the agricultural sector in Maine evolves, its growth and sustainability will be dependent on a skilled and entrepreneurial workforce, one familiar with innovative farming techniques, sophisticated marketing approaches, and in-depth knowledge of food safety, security, and health. The new program will address these needs.
Jane’s Trust was created through the beneficence of Jane B. Cook, who died in July 2002. Mrs. Cook was known in the communities where she lived as a down-to-earth woman who was generous to the core. The Trust aims to continue the legacy of generosity that she established during her lifetime.
Jane’s Trust is administered at Hemenway & Barnes LLP, 60 State Street, Suite 800, Boston, Massachusetts.
Kennebec Valley Community College is one of seven community colleges in Maine. KVCC prepares full-time and part-time students to enter the job market, to transfer to colleges and universities, and to achieve their professional and personal goals. Programs and services support the economic growth of the community in response to changing needs.
In 2011 and again in 2012, KVCC was named one of the top community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute, placing in the top 10 percent of two-year colleges based on student success rates.
To learn more about KVCC, go to www.kvcc.me.edu.
The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges is dedicated to ensuring that the state’s seven community colleges have the resources they need to provide a high quality, affordable, and accessible college education for Maine people.
For more information on the Foundation, go to www.maineccfoundation.org.