(March 17, 2014, DENFIELD) – The NFU-O decries the proposed closing of Kemptville Campus by the University of Guelph. The college has provided generations of eastern Ontario residents with a solid education in agriculture. Without Kemptville College it will be much more difficult for many young residents of the region to acquire the knowledge and skills they require to excel at the challenging business of farming. The NFU-O strongly encourages the University of Guelph, the Province of Ontario and other stakeholders to immediately revisit this decision and find a means to keep the college open and vibrant.
“I would like to see that the school be restored to the Province and that the school, research centre and farm be returned without the encumbrances of the U of G’s cumulative debt,” said Tony Straathof, NFU-O Regional Council member and alumni of the college. Straathof attended the rally held last Saturday at Kemptville College.
“The National Farmers Union – Ontario has members who are proud alumni of Kemptville College and are very concerned about the University of Guelph’s decision” said Eatwell, NFU-O President and Acting NFU Region 3 Coordinator. “The college serves as a community centre for eastern Ontario, making available a practical education in agriculture and domestic science, as well as conducting research on the farm; this was the original mandate of the college. Ownership should be returned to eastern Ontario where learning is best aided by an institution at which rural youth live and grow.”
The NFU-O also notes that it was the Conservative government under Mike Harris who transferred the college to the University of Guelph in 1997 to manage Kemptville’s research and educational programs.
“It is profoundly unfair that a university such as Guelph, which has been known for its leadership in agricultural and rural studies, would decide to close such a facility,” said Eatwell. “The Government of Ontario has mandated that higher education institutions focus on their unique strengths: closing a regional facility such as Kemptville College makes us question that vision.”
For more information contact:
Karen Eatwell, Acting NFU Region 3 Coordinator and NFU-O President: (519) 232-4105; email@example.com
Tony Straathof, NFU-O Regional Council and Renfrew County Local President: (613) 587-4343; firstname.lastname@example.org