LCO Research Farm Retains StudentsFeb 15th, 1997 | By tcj | Category: 8-4: Racism, Tribal College News
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College has embarked upon the largest research project ever conducted by the college. Project GROWTH is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Activities center at the college’s Agricultural Research Station, a 200 acre farm donated to the college by the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board in 1995.
The primary function of the research station is to test growth rates of various foods in the short growing season of northwestern Wisconsin. Research at the station will show what foods thrive in the cooler temperatures and soils of the area. The students gather the seeds from each harvest for replanting in the following spring. They compare germination rates to determine which seeds are the hardiest and produce the biggest yield.
A secondary function of the research station is to serve the community. Each spring, garden plots are available for individuals to plant the crops of their choice. The ground is plowed, tilled, and irrigated by student workers.
In the future, the research station will be used for economic development. The college plans large scale production of a farm product, such as wheat, laying the groundwork for developing a mill and eventually a bakery.
Students who successfully complete the program receive an Associate of Applied Science degree in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management. Over the past three years, the student retention rate has been 100 percent.