LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Ivy Tech Community College Lafayette is one of nine Midwestern community colleges receiving a share of more than half a million dollars from the USDA.
The funds were awarded as part of a cooperative agreement with the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The funding was awarded to community colleges who are part of the Community College Alliance for Agriculture Advancement.
Over the next four years, Ivy Tech will receive more than $50,000 from the agreement.
Ivy Tech's Agriculture Department will use the funds on equipment, staffing and measuring key soil health data points.
They will also be able to host field days.
Students and community members will be able to observe the results of crop trials and speak with experts.
Department of Agriculture Chair Kraig Bowers said the field days will also focus on conservation.
"Looking at best practices at best practices and how we can best implement those practices from a conservation standpoint that's also going to have a positive impact on agricultural production," said Bowers.
Bowers added he hopes these opportunities will encourage students to pursue careers in agriculture.
"Part of this too is increasing the pipeline of students who go into careers with the Natural Resource Conservation Service. So it's also giving them opportunities potentially with their partnership to explore internships," said Bowers.