John Wood Community College gets Agriculture department donation

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 3:48 AM CDT
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BAYLIS, Ill. (WGEM) - For students working towards a degree in agriculture, they’ll need all the tools or equipment they’ll potentially use in a future career.

John Wood Community College received a $25,000 donation and a new tractor from Beard Implement Company for its agriculture program.

JWCC faculty member Bethany Beeler said they put the tractor to good use at their livestock judging contest on Friday, which cut their set up time from a few hours down to a half hour. She said it’ll help them with clean up and other future events. She said having this machinery for agriculture classes will really help students.

“I’ll be able to use it in my agronomy classes to help teach students how to use a basic piece of equipment,” she said. “We have some kids who did not grow up on a farm and so being able to train them on an actual piece of equipment is gonna be very beneficial to them.”

She said previously if they wanted to use heavy equipment, people would have to bring in the equipment or they would borrow it from the University of Illinois.

Beeler said they’ve put the money towards their HVAC and air-conditioning system in their arena on the agriculture site.

Sophomore Jacob Laning said he has driven heavy machinery around the farm since the first grade, but the new tractor opens up further opportunities for him and other students.

“It shows that there’s other businesses in the local area that are willing to donate to the school and the program because they’re wanting to see future ag people come into their business and possibly work for them,” Laning said.

Beeler said for students who plan to either own farms, whether it be large or small scale, being familiar with machinery they’ll use will allow them to farm efficiently or advance their career.

Laning said it’ll also teach students how to operate the equipment safely so if they do every use it no one gets hurt.

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