A major donation from McLean County Farm Bureau will help advance Heartland Community College toward construction of a dedicated space for agriculture programs to grow and flourish.
A $2 million pledge from McLean County Farm Bureau to the Heartland Community College Foundation represents the first substantial local investment in the college’s forthcoming agricultural facility project.
The contribution will be made over the next two years as project construction begins.
“We see this gift as an opportunity to invest in building a strong future for agriculture in our community, to support workforce development for local agriculture employers and to fuel a robust agriculture economy in central Illinois,” says Mark Hines, McLean County Farm Bureau President.
“We appreciate Heartland’s focus on current and future workforce needs in tailoring agriculture programs to equip students with skills to meet that demand,” Hines said.
The donation will be used for the development of a flexible learning lab space for Heartland students as well as community groups and K-12 learning experiences like summer camps and field trips.
The agriculture facility will be built on the west side of Heartland’s campus on Raab Road in Normal.
The College anticipates breaking ground on the $20 million facility later this spring with a projected completion date of 2023.
“This investment in a learning space is reflective of the strong commitment the McLean County Farm Bureau has toward the education of the ag professionals of the future,” said HCC Foundation Executive Director Chris Downing.
“The Farm Bureau has already provided scholarship opportunities for more than 20 students with the McLean County Bureau Homegrown Ag scholarships that starting in the Fall of 2021. The creation of more learning space for ag students on the Heartland campus brings vital benefits for HCC students to develop skills and network with present and future ag leaders,” Downing says.
Heartland first added ag classes in the Fall of 2015 for students seeking to transfer and complete a bachelor’s degree.
Strong student interest and robust employment opportunities lead the college to expand agriculture opportunities with certificate and degree programs added in the Fall of 2021.
Heartland currently offers Associate in Science, Associate in Arts and Associate in Applied Science degrees in agriculture, as well as certificates in Agriculture Business, Agronomy, Precision Agriculture andRegenerative Agriculture.
For more information about Heartland’s Ag Program, visit heartland.edu/agriculture.