A generous donation to Lakeland College will help create more opportunities for agriculture science students. A $500,000 donation was made Thursday by longtime donor Judy Sweet in an effort to increase the college’s farm land base.
Sweet has previously contributed to the expansion of the G.N. Sweet Livestock Research Facility that was opened in memory of her late husband. Sweet’s latest gift will help Lakeland to expand and modernize their college farm.
“This donation is really about helping Lakeland College address their need to grow their farm operations. This ties into G.N. Sweet Livestock Research Facility and supports students, who are eager and already prepared for the real world when they graduate. They could run their own farm, start a new business, advance ag research or take on something else and they are prepared to do it,” says Sweet in a statement.
2,000 acres of crop and pasture land are available to students on the college’s farm, as well as hundreds of head of livestock and various learning facilities at the Vermilion campus. Dean of Agriculture Sciences Josie Van Lent says Sweet’s donation contributes to their student’s education, aside from ag programming and farm operations.
“Land is the foundation for our student-led learning model on the college farm. Our intention is to grow our land base in a way that enriches educational opportunities in ag business and research.”
Lakeland last increased their land base in 2010 and since then the number of animal science technology and crop technology students has grown from 90 to 266. This fall there are 559 students in seven agriculture science programs at the Vermilion campus.