UMass Amherst breaks ground for Agricultural Learning Center - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

UMass Amherst breaks ground for Agricultural Learning Center

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AMHERST, MA (WSHM) -

UMass Amherst's 150-year agricultural education program will soon see new life, as university officials broke ground for a new Agricultural Learning Center (ALC) on Thursday afternoon.

The ALC facility will combine the university's rich agricultural history with new features into the design.

In 2012, The Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation pledged $500,000 to move the last barn on campus to its new sight off of North Pleasant Street this summer.  

The nearly 120-year-old barn also will be renovated into indoor classrooms, along with the addition of a 50-acre, outdoor classroom, which just so happens to be a working farm.  

The farm will give students hands-on learning in farming, horticulture, nursery, and landscape.

It also gives students the chance to practice contemporary trends in the agricultural field.

"As we celebrate our sesquicentennial, it is a wonderful opportunity to think about what agriculture means to Massachusetts today and make sure we teach our students to be prepared for sustainable agriculture, for local food service, and security… and that's what this formula allows us to do," said Kumble Subbaswamy, Chancellor of UMass Amherst.

Subbaswamy also told CBS 3 the number of Sustainable Food and Farming majors has increased 16 fold from 2003 until today.

The project is set to be open in fall of 2014.

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