Agriculture, one of the oldest activities in human history, is back in the spotlight at Seward County Community College, with a combination of old favorites and fresh approaches. This weekend marks the first-ever fundraising banquet for the SCCC Agriculture Department. The event symbolizes both the history of the college’s program as well as a new start to partnerships in the region.
The banquet will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, January 26 at the Comfort Suites (across from Old Chicago).
According to agriculture instructors Nick Noterman and Joshua Morris, the event grew out of a desire to bring the supporters, sponsors, donors “into one spot, sit them down and talk to them about some of the changes and the direction of the program.”
Former SCCC alumni and Ag program supporter Trevor Winchester proposed the idea of a banquet as a fundraiser/get together. Working closely with farmers, ranchers, and ag business people in the region is a key component of the department’s vision for the future, and building on Winchester’s suggestion embodies that desire.
“I was visiting (with Trevor) and he brought up the banquet and I ran through (all the channels) and we got the go-ahead for it,” Noterman said. Both instructors believe that personal interaction with the program’s supporters — instead of just sending out a letter — is ideal.
“We’ll get a chance to visit with the supporters and sponsors,” Noterman said. “Talk to them about the Ag program. It’ll be a relaxed environment. They’ll get a good meal and entertainment.”
Comedian David Ferrell will be providing the entertainment.
A key point will be an update about the direction of the Ag department, he continued.
“We’re going to be pursuing the livestock judging program and the crop judging program,” he said. While a display case on campus is stuffed with trophies and awards from years past, both programs have been more dormant in recent years. That is changing, however.
While changes in technology and science continually affect agriculture, Morris said, SCCC is aiming for a balance and sustainability, shifting back to a more traditional Ag program.
“We’re returning to a focus on livestock and crop judging programs and incorporating some more traditional crops along with some vegetable production,” Morris said. “We’re still going to teach that, but not to the scale it was in the past. We’re going back to some more traditional crops and agriculture that’s based to Southwest Kansas, that we feel needs to be brought back into the program.”
The banquet has been well-received with sponsorships and ticket sales of more than $8,000 raised so far.
“For the first go-around, I’m really excited,” Noterman said. “SCCC Chief Development Officer Tano Tovilla has been a huge help to us in getting some extra people. It’s going really well.”
Tickets are $50 per person and will be available at the door. For more information, contact Noterman or Morris at the SCCC Ag Department, at 620-417-1353 or 1354, respectively.