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McLean County Farm Bureau provides $2M boost for Heartland Ag facility

March 17, 2022

A major donation from McLean County Farm Bureau will help advance Heartland Community College toward construction of a dedicated space for agriculture programs to grow and flourish. 

A two million dollar gift from McLean County Farm Bureau to the Heartland Community College Foundation represents the first substantial local investment in the College’s forthcoming agricultural facility project. 

“We see this gift as an opportunity to invest in building a strong future for agriculture in our community, to support workforce development for local agriculture employers and to fuel a robust agriculture economy in central Illinois,” says Mark Hines, McLean County Farm Bureau President. “We appreciate Heartland’s focus on current and future workforce needs in tailoring agriculture programs to equip students with skills to meet that demand.” 

The donation will be used for the development of a flexible learning lab space for Heartland students as well as community groups and K-12 learning experiences like summer camps and field trips. 

The McLean County Farm Bureau instructional lab will be housed within Heartland’s planned agriculture facility to be built on the west side of the Raab Rd. campus in Normal, IL. The College anticipates breaking ground on the $20 million facility later this spring with a projected completion date of 2023. 

“This investment in a learning space is reflective of the strong commitment the McLean County Farm Bureau has toward the education of the ag professionals of the future,” said HCC Foundation Executive Director Chris Downing. “This school year the Farm Bureau has already provided scholarship opportunities for over 20 ag-minded students with the McLean County Bureau Homegrown Agriculture scholarship that began in Fall of 2021. The creation of more learning space for ag students on the Heartland campus brings vital benefits for HCC students to develop skills and network with present and future ag leaders.”

Heartland Community College offers multiple pathways for agriculture students including the degree programs Associate in Science, Associate in Arts, Associate in Applied Science, as well as certifications in Agriculture Business, Agronomy, Precision Agriculture and Regenerative Agriculture. 

About McLean County Farm Bureau

McLean County Farm Bureau is a voluntary, member organization representing local farmers and farmland owners. Since its beginning in 1914, McLean County Farm Bureau has been dedicated to advocating for agriculture.

Written by: Steve Fast