Kirkwood Agricultural Sciences Department in Global Spotlight

President Trump’s visit showcases No. 1 two-year ag program in nation

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (June 21, 2017)-Kirkwood Community College’s top-ranked Agricultural Sciences department was on the world stage Wednesday as President Trump and other important leaders were on campus for a tour demonstrating ag technology used in the classroom. International news coverage of the event showcased what makes Kirkwood a leader in ag education to a worldwide audience.

During the stop, Kirkwood Ag Sciences Dean Scott Ermer guided the President on a tour of Washington Hall, the highlight of which was a demonstration of the college’s state-of-the-art John Deere Combine Simulator. Ermer, along with recent graduate Rita Urmie (2017) and instructor James Jordan, showed President Trump how students learn safe operational procedures before getting behind the wheel of an actual combine.

According to Ermer, the Mr. Trump’s visit was a chance to show the President the importance of education funding.

“We have federal dollars we’re using to fund equipment training items that our students are using every day,” said Ermer. “Those monies are vital to us to be able to provide those opportunities and prepare the future workforce. Funding in higher education is of major concern right now. I think the President saw the benefits of what funding offers not just to our students, but to all students.”

The tour was followed by remarks from the President to about 250 attendees regarding the importance of supporting the American farmer and rural parts of the country. In a 15-minute speech, he spoke in favor of increasing rural broadband access as well as promoting the latest technology for use in precision agriculture.

“That’s why it’s so important to support schools like Kirkwood, which are helping to train young people in cutting-edge, new technologies that will make American agriculture greater and more productive than ever before,” said Trump.

The event was the fourth presidential visit to Kirkwood since 2004.

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