JWCC Agricultural Sciences Complex Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
The official dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony of the John Wood Community College Agricultural Sciences Complex and the Fred L. Bradshaw Learning Center was held on August 9 at the JWCC Agricultural Education Center near Baylis.
More than 300 people were in attendance to commemorate the dedication including community members, key stakeholders and donors. The ceremony celebrated a 45-year educational partnership with the University of Illinois, John Wood Community College and the Orr Research Center Corporation.
JWCC President Michael Elbe formally accepted ownership of the Agricultural Sciences Complex from the Orr Corporation Chair Matt Bradshaw.
“Today is a defining moment for our region. I want to offer my sincere appreciation and gratitude to Matt and the Orr Corporation Board for their support and effort to produce this facility. I want to thank you for all your work to make this happen, and believe me people, when I say this would not have happened in the past 11 months without the leadership of Matt Bradshaw,” Elbe stated. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees of John Wood Community College and on behalf of the College, I am honored to accept this facility.”
Elbe then made a special announcement sharing the facility will be named in memory of Fred Bradshaw. “I am officially declaring today this learning center will be named the Fred L. Bradshaw Learning Center,” shared Elbe. “Fred Bradshaw was a founding member of the Orr Corporation and a pioneer in the early years of developing this unique partnership between a land grant university and a local community college. He was a community leader who served our college, our agricultural program and this region for decades. For your father, your mother Carole, the entire Bradshaw family, and your continued giving of your time, talents and treasures over the past 50 years, I am proud to say this facility will be named in honor and memory of your father.”
Orr Corporation Board Chair Matt Bradshaw shared, “Today’s dedication is a pivotal point in the history of the Orr Center. The new Agricultural Sciences Complex will take the current research and education to a new level. We are very excited to play a part in expanding the long-term relationship between John Wood Community College and the University of Illinois for future generations.”
The Orr Corporation continues to lead this privately funded project; $2.1 million of the $2.5 million target goal has been raised to date. The 24,000-square-foot facility construction began last September 2021 at the JWCC Agricultural Education Center and the U of I Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center in Baylis, IL. The newly completed facility houses 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 further enhance regional research, teaching and activities.
Dr. German Bollero, Professor and Interim Dean, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois commented, “The dedication and opening of this multipurpose facility is a celebration of the long-term partnership between JWCC, The College of ACES, and the Orr Research Center Corporation. Without a doubt, the programs delivered in this new facility will have an immediate impact on the region. We are grateful to many local leaders that have made this effort possible.”
This new facility expands offerings and presents more opportunities to bring in other agencies and organizations to make a greater impact on our rural economy, communities served and the agricultural industry. Fall registration is open now with classes starting August 22.
Matthew Bradshaw, Orr Corporation Board Chair
Michael Elbe, John Wood Community College President
Dr. German Bollero, Interim Dean, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences,
University of Illinois
Dr. Bob Easter, President Emeritus, University of Illinois
Matt Ginder, Chief Core Markets Officer, Compeer Financial, ACA
Mark Gebhards, Executive Director of Governmental Affairs and Commodities, Illinois Farm Bureau
Shelby Crow, County Extension Director, Serving Adams, Brown, Hancock, Pike and Schuyler Counties
Chloe Chastain, Illinois FFA Section 13 President
Larry Fischer, Immediate Past Chair, John Wood Community College Board of Trustees
Kylee Freeman, JWCC Agriculture Student, Dedication Blessing
Ribbon Cutting participants, from left to right: Chris Miller, U.S. Representative Mary Miller, Senator Jil Tracy, Shelby Crow, Illinois Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer, Lynn Curry, Matt Ginder, Michael Elbe, Neal Merchan, Dr. German Bollero, Cody Bradshaw, Jeff Bradshaw, Wesley Bradshaw, Eric Bradshaw, Carole Bradshaw, Jane Bradshaw, Matt Bradshaw, Lori Bradshaw, Kyle Bradshaw, Jill Moss, Mike Tenhouse, Larry Fischer