The Vision for Kemptville — Keeping an Agriculture & Trades College Going


The final government-backed reports regarding recommendations for the fate of the University of Guelph’s Alfred and Kemptville campuses rolled out in mid-December, and the findings were exactly what at least one group was hoping for.

Marty Derks is chair of the Kemptville College Renewal Task Force assembled to maintain the Kemptville campus as an agriculture and trades school. “The recommendation is exactly what we had hoped for,” he says.

The group submitted a complete plan to the government during its feasibility study with an option to have the school transferred to the municipality of North Grenville, where the campus is located. Based on the sole recommendation in the Ontario government’s report, the province agrees.

Derks says that the task force has received support from not just the municipality, but also three other schools — Olds College in Alberta, Vermont Tech and Trent University — in addition to the schools already working with Kemptville on course offerings. The group also has laid out plans for hosting more “modular” courses, opening up options for continued education in agriculture, without having to commit to full course work.

“It cash-flows,” he says. “Now the hard work begins.”

That “hard work” is the next step to making this happen, and it’s a big one — Derks says that the task force must now get the provincial government to earmark funds for the campus in its budget. Given the plan put forward, and the support by trades colleges and the municipality, Derks is confident the task force can get what it needs by a late January, 2015, deadline.

The University of Guelph maintains possession of the school until the end of December, 2015. Derks says that the new programing and version of the school will begin with the late 2015 classes, if all moves forward.

View the full government report on the Kemptville campus, here

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