Over the last few years, Alfred State College has invested nearly $1 million dollars in the College Farm to modernize facilities and infrastructure. The college is committed to maintaining this momentum.
To keep its students competitive in an evolving agricultural industry, Alfred State is diversifying its educational offerings.
“Primarily, the farm has been a dairy operation for decades and we are very proud of that tradition,” said Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State. “We want to build on that proud heritage with the introduction of new species and new opportunities for our students. What’s really interesting is that the process of deciding what works best with our land and facilities is exactly the sort of decision-making our students need to understand when they launch their careers.”
Many alumni proudly recall the thriving College Farm atmosphere. The college plans to continue this tradition by offering unique hands-on experiences for its students, utilizing new agricultural technologies.
With these efforts, Alfred State can capitalize on the growing job markets in agriculture. A study released by Purdue University in 2015 showed that between 2015 and 2020, an estimated 57,900 jobs would be created annually in agricultural, food, and renewable natural resources.
Dr. Phil Schroeder, chair of the Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Department, said, “To complement our state-of-the-art free-stall robotic dairy, we will develop agricultural innovation spaces. These spaces will provide room to diversify our agricultural programs, and may include opportunities for our students to work with meat goats, beef cattle, rabbits, swine, horses, and maple syrup production.”
And not only will agriculture students benefit from the college diversifying its farm, but veterinary students will, too.
Dr. Mel Chambliss, associate professor in the Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Department and program coordinator of the veterinary technology major, said, “Increased diversity of species at the College Farm will greatly enhance the large animal husbandry and handling experiences for our veterinary technology students.”