JWCC Trustees Hear Report U.S. Congressman LaHood tours JWCC’s Agricultural Education Center

March 17, 2021

 JWCC Trustees Hear Report U.S. Congressman LaHood tours JWCC’s Agricultural Education Center

The John Wood Community College Board of Trustees heard a report of U.S. Congressman Darin LaHood’s tour of JWCC’s Agricultural Education Center on March 15, during its regular meeting Wednesday, March 17.  The meeting was conducted in-person and virtually as permitted by the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Congressman Darin LaHood toured the JWCC Agricultural Education Center in Pike County, Baylis, IL with JWCC President Michael Elbe, Orr Corp President Matt Bradshaw and State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer with several Board members and community partners in attendance.  Discussed was the history of the education center, the unique partnership between the Orr Corporation, the University of Illinois and John Wood Community College, the present and the future construction plans for the new Orr Multipurpose Agriculture Facility.  The project is in collaboration with JWCC, the University of Illinois and the Orr Corp. JWCC President Michael Elbe said, “This is an investment in the long-term sustainability of our agricultural programs and prosperity for rural America in education, research and workforce development.”

“It was an honor to welcome Congressman LaHood to JWCC’s Agricultural Education Center,” Elbe shared.  “We will continue to work collectively to build a strong rural economy; creating new generations of farm operators, owners and other rural careers in our region.”

Congressman Darin LaHood stated, “I appreciate hearing about the great partnership between JWCC and the University of Illinois.  The facility offers cutting-edge animal and crop research and educational opportunities for the next generation of young people entering agriculture careers.  I look forward to supporting their efforts as they look to expand their offerings to students into the future.”

Construction of the 24,000 square foot facility will begin this fall at the JWCC Agricultural Education Center and the U of I Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center in Baylis, IL.  The facility will house offices and classrooms, an exposition/arena space and an animal care unit designed for short-term or temporary housing for the welfare of animals. The building will address multiple agricultural education and development issues in West Central Illinois and will further enhance research, teaching and U of I activities throughout the region.

The Trustees heard a report regarding JWCC’s Spring enrollment. The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) ranked JWCC 5th in headcount and 6th in credit hours out of Illinois’ 48 community colleges.  Comparatively, JWCC is in a much stronger and financially stable position due to strategic initiatives focusing on enrollment and retention.  “We continue to plan and examine all aspects of the College to fully utilize course offerings and programs for student success, which is our number one goal, all while ensuring a safe environment for everyone.” Enrollment is now open for the Summer term starting May 17.

President Elbe also stated two seats on JWCC Board of Trustees will be filled in the consolidated election on April 6, 2021.  The seats are for two, six-year terms.  The three candidate names will appear in-order on the ballot are Paula Hawley of Griggsville, William (LB) Cornwell of Quincy and Don Hess of Quincy.  Hess is an incumbent, Hawley and Cornwell are challengers. Trustees whose terms are expiring are Jim Gay of Rockport, IL and Don Hess of Quincy, IL.

In other business, the board:

Authorized submission of a $40,000 to $50,000 grant application to the Illinois State Library/Jess White Secretary of State for the Adult Volunteer Literacy Grant.

The next regular meeting of the JWCC Board of Trustees is April 21, 2021, at 6 p.m. at JWCC’s Quincy campus.