Ridgewater considers transferring Farm Enterprise Administration program to space faculties

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WILLMAR – Proposed changes to the Farm Business Management program at Ridgewater College are currently under review that will move the current faculty to schools in Brainerd and Granite Falls next year.

If the plan is approved, Ridgewater College Farm Business Management students will continue to receive their education in the format and structure they are now experiencing, but through a different host institution. This emerged from a press release on Tuesday afternoon.

The Farm Business Management program provides training in business and financial planning for active farmers and those looking to start farming.

The proposed change would retain program services and current staff, but the Ridgewater faculty would become staff members at Central Lakes College at Brainerd and the Minnesota West Community and the Technical College at Granite Falls.

However, some of the employees would still be housed at the Ridgewater locations in Willmar and Hutchinson.

“This proposal seeks to maintain and enhance the critical support services that the FBM program provides to farmers in our area through a different and better model for all stakeholders,” said Craig Johnson, President of Ridgewater.

Under the proposed plan, two Ridgewater faculties serving the Belgrade and Melrose regions would move to Central Lakes College, while six faculties serving the Olivia, Barrett, Hutchinson, Willmar, Hutchinson, Litchfield and Lac qui Parle regions would move into the Minnesota West Community would switch to college.

The plan is expected to create a more universal and streamlined educational model for farm business management and provide long-term financial benefits for Ridgewater’s Ag post-secondary programs and the Minnesota State system.

For more information on the proposal, please contact Mike Kutzke, Vice President, Student Success at Ridgewater College, at 320.222.5203.