Feenstra Cosponsor Of Bill To Equip Community Colleges To Expand Ag Education

Washington, DC — An area Congressman is touting a bill that could help our area and perhaps Sheldon specifically.

Congrssman Randy Feenstra of Hull has helped to introduce, alongside Congressman Trent Kelly of Mississippi — the Community College Agriculture Advancement Act, which would equip community and technical colleges with the resources they need to expand agriculture education for their students and the next generation of farmers.

Feenstra says that our exceptional community colleges have an important role to play in expanding and promoting agriculture education in Iowa. From increasing crop yields to lowering input costs, there is a wealth of information available to new and beginning farmers as they prepare for the future. Feenstra says, “The Community College Agriculture Advancement Act will equip the next generation of farmers and producers with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in the field and beyond. Born and raised in rural Iowa, I will always be a strong advocate for agriculture education and its priceless benefits for our rural economy. I hope to see this legislation pass the Congress — either in the Farm Bill or independently — and be signed into law because agriculture education remains a vital investment for rural America.”

Dr. John Hartog, President of Northwest Iowa Community College says, “We are grateful that Congressman Randy Feenstra has championed the Community College Agriculture Advancement Act. We commend the Congressman for supporting the critical role that community colleges play in preparing the future workforce for our country’s agricultural sector.” Hartog says that the legislation enables industry-responsive training that will produce skilled workers with short-term credentials. He says the plan empowers community colleges to work more closely with their areas’ industries to address workforce needs region by region.

Administrators from other community colleges in Feenstra’s district echoed their support as well.

Feenstra’s staff says this legislation would amend the Farm Bill to create new opportunities for community and technical colleges through Capacity Building Grants for Community College Agriculture and Natural Resources Programs, and Centers of Agriculture Advancement.

They say the bill requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer competitive grants to community and technical colleges, and to consortia and alliances of community and technical colleges supporting agriculture advancement, to assist in maintaining and expanding their capacity to conduct workforce training, education, research, and outreach activities relating to agriculture and renewable resources.

You can find the legislative text HERE.