PRATT, Kan.—Pratt Community College (PCC) Agriculture Department is collaborating with Kanza Cooperative Association to help bring agricultural education resources to students throughout the college’s service area and beyond. Kanza recently presented $6,000 to the Pratt Community College Foundation to fund the purchase of an enclosed trailer that will become a Mobile Ag Lab.
“We have great educational resources but they right now they are only accessible to student in our classes here at the college,” said Lori Montgomery, Agriculture Instructor at PCC. “Purchasing a trailer will allow students in many communities and organizations to use our top quality equipment for education and demonstrations.”
The idea for the mobile lab came when an anonymous benefactor contributed to the agriculture department to encourage the promotion of agriculture. The college owns a variety of equipment that can provide hands on learning experiences like a life-sized model cow with removable parts that can simulate insemination, palpation and birthing scenarios, and a spray table that allows students to calibrate nozzles and study spray patterns. This equipment is often too expensive for most groups to purchase.
Montgomery realized that these resources could have a much bigger impact if they were mobile and could be transported to surround communities. She hopes that the trailer will allow her and her students to help facilitate use of equipment in partnership with high school agriculture programs, 4-H clubs, county farm bureaus and other groups who want conduct hands on agricultural education activities.
Kanza staff became aware of the project through involvement in the college’s Ag Advisory Committee and were excited to contribute.
“Our organization is rooted in agriculture and we want to support educational efforts to help people learn about the industry,” said Nick Krehbiel, Kanza’s Chief Operating Officer. “This program is a great fit because it allows us to invest in the future of agriculture and aligns with our desire to serve local communities.”
Kanza secured matching funding through both the Land O’Lakes Foundation and the CHS Seeds for Stewardship program to maximize their gift to the PCC Foundation.
Plans are under way for the purchase and design of the Mobile Ag Lab. Montgomery hopes that the mobile lab will be ready to use by the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.