KEMPTVILLE With the planned shutdown of Kemptville College fewer than six months away, there are numerous ideas but no concrete plans to save the college.
A recent consultants report lists four colleges and five private sector businesses as possible future partners but the best fit for agriculture, a Vermont-state ag college, can only provide ideas for the Kemptville campus, says an associate professor at the American college.
Vermont Technical College runs its own farm and agriculture programs and associate professor Christopher Dutton, says that it is struggling with its own low student numbers and would not be able to partner with Kemptville due to complications involving a foreign college. Dutton says, however, the best plan might be to wind down Kemptville College and restart it with a much leaner economic model.
The report, by Kemptville consultants McSweeney and Associates, revealed that there was no heavy hitter to take on the job of running the Kemptville campus. But there were schools willing to provide courses. The three other interested post-secondary schools include Trent University, Algonquin College, and Olds College in Alberta, which historically saw Kemptville as a feeder to its own agricultural programs. The report said that there were numerous private sector businesses also interested in working with the college and included five:
Ercel Baker Inc.: Operated by Ercel Baker, a career federal public servant who offered his services as a facilitator. His website states: “I introduce people I trust to people who trust me.”
Sevita International: The former Hendricks Seeds at Winchester, develops non-genetically-modified soybeans, and expressed interest in providing training, co-op placements and internships.
Can South Agri Development Corp Group: Consists of former government officials and international program managers and professors who proposed an agri-science training centre providing international education.
Tallman Truck Centres: Interested in providing physical facilities to accommodate education and training for mechanics.
Construction Certification Centres of Canada: Interested in providing training for truck drivers and equipment operators.
Former federal minister of agriculture Lyle Vanclief was to send his confidential report on the future of the college to the premier based on the strength of these ideas. The 97-year-old college with 40 buildings on 847 acres, has 262 students this year, including 31 in the second-year ag diploma program. There were about 347 students in all programs last year.