Donation to aid Lakeland College farmland expansion

A $500,000 donation will allow Lakeland College to buy more land for its farm operations. The donation came from Judy Sweet, who had previously donated funds to modernize and expand the G.N. Sweet Livestock Research Facility, which officially opened two years ago. Sweet and her late husband, Garth Sweet, raised purebred simmental cattle for more than 25 years.

“This donation is really about helping Lakeland College address its need to grow its farm operations,” Sweet said.

Animal science technology and crop technology students currently have access to 2,000 student-managed acres of crop and pasture land at the Vermilion campus, where the G.N. Sweet Livestock Research Facility is located.

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Since Lakeland last grew its land base in 2010, the number of animal science technology and crop technology students has increased from 90 to 266 students. There are 559 students in seven agricultural sciences programs at the Vermilion campus this fall.

Increasing enrolment combined with growing livestock herds, including an 80-head research herd, 290-head dairy herd, 90-head commercial beef herd and a 40-head purebred beef herd, have put pressure on Lakeland’s land base.

The college also recently opened its new $8.2-million Animal Health Clinic at the Vermilion campus. The 14,500-square-foot facility replaces one built in the 1960s and has the latest technologies, including bovine ultrasound machine and a digital radiography X-ray system.

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