Agriculture center celebrates milestone - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Agriculture center celebrates milestone

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Cow grazing land at the Orr Agriculture Center. Cow grazing land at the Orr Agriculture Center.
Pen empty at the Orr Agriculture Center. Pen empty at the Orr Agriculture Center.
Residents wait in line for food at the celebration. Residents wait in line for food at the celebration.
PIKE COUNTY, Ill. (WGEM) -

An agriculture facility celebrates 40 years of a partnership between John Wood Community College and University of Illinois that's led to a big impact on farming locally.

Alumni say education at the Orr Agriculture Center, located in Pike County, helped them become well rounded in the Ag industry.

"I'm probably more crop science focused than animal science, but I definitely spent some time out here on the animal science side," Aaron Bush said. 

Wednesday, officials celebrated 40 years of an historic decision, one of very few partnerships between four-year land-grant institutions and a local community college.

"What we do here is amazing research that's translated right into these farmer's fields and into their cattle production systems and we use students," Kim Kidwell with University of Illinois said.

Students at the Orr Center participate hands-on in research studies. The center's chairman says some of the research conducted here can't be replicated anywhere else.

"Producers can take that research and apply that to their own operations to improve efficiency and productivity," Matt Bradshaw said.

It also further expands the student's education.

"Anytime we can put a student in situation where they learn something in the classroom and then can practice it in real life, that's the money shot there," Kidwell said.

Alumni hope to see the center continue being a driving force for new ideas

"It's going to be more the western Illinois climate as well as some of the soil types that we have closer to home versus the soil type they'd have over at Urbana-Champaign," Bush said.

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