TORY VAN BLARCUM
The KC Ag Department is getting a new look this year. The courses, faculty and look of the farm are all in the process of changing. The Ag Club has changed its name to the Agricultural Student Association. Dr. Karl Steddom, a Texas A&M University plant pathologist, is now in charge of department.
“There are big changes coming and lots of hands-on work,” Steddom said.
The ASA plans on planting its first organic and conventional crops next week. The crops will be planted at the KC Agricultural Demonstration Farm in Overton. With the fruits and vegetables they grow they would like to sell shares of the crops to students and faculty.
The department also invites students to come out to the farm and help out with the crops for some fruits and vegetables as their pay.
Other projects going on at the farm include new fences, refurbished classrooms, a lot of cleaning and changing the look.
Steddom has trimmed the curriculum to four courses to better prepare students for a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. The first is intro to agriculture that is taught in one unit in the classroom. Next is animal science which consists of four units, including labs and lectures. The labs are taught at the Texas A&M Agrilife Research and Extension Center in Overton. The next course is agronomy also taught at the research center.
Steddom teaches the final course called horticulture, which is mainly taught at the A&M Research Center. Steddom plans on a lot of interaction in the area and a lot of hands-on work.
The ASA has been busy recruiting lately and trying to rebuild the program.
For more information, contact Steddom at 903-983-8656 or email him at email@example.com