Ridgewater considers transferring Farm Business Management program to area colleges

WILLMAR – Proposed changes in the Farm Business Management program at Ridgewater College are being explored that would transfer current faculty to schools in Brainerd and Granite Falls next year.

If the plan is approved, Ridgewater College Farm Business Management students would continue to receive their education in the same format and structure they now experience but through a different host institution, according to a news release Tuesday afternoon.

The Farm Business Management program provides business and financial planning education to active farmers and those who want to begin farming.

The proposed change would preserve the program services and the current staff but the Ridgewater faculty would become employees of the Central Lakes College in Brainerd and Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Granite Falls.

Some of the employees, however, would continue to be housed at the Ridgewater campuses in Willmar and Hutchinson.

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“This proposal is intended to preserve and enhance the critical support services that the FBM program provides to farmers in our region via a different and better model for everyone involved,” said Ridgewater President Craig Johnson.

Under the proposed plan, two Ridgewater faculty who serve the Belgrade and Melrose regions would transfer to Central Lakes College, while six faculty who serve the Olivia, Barrett, Hutchinson, Willmar, Hutchinson, Litchfield and Lac qui Parle regions would transfer to Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

The plan is expected to create a more universal and streamlined Farm Business Management education delivery model and have long-term financial benefits for Ridgewater’s post-secondary ag programs and the Minnesota State system.

For more information about the proposal contact Mike Kutzke, Vice President of Student Success at Ridgewater College, at 320.222.5203.