Buying time for Kemptville's Agricultural College
A third-generation dairy farmer, Robert Thurler knows all about milking cows.
That's not why he got an agricultural degree from the University of Guelph's Kemptville campus.
"You don't go there to milk cows but all the other aspects of farming, the new technology," says Nick Thurler, his father.
Still, the younger Thurler admits if the college wasn't in Kemptville he probably wouldn't have gone. He knew his family needed his help on the farm.
Now, a new generation of farmers in Eastern Ontario can do both at least for another year.
The Ontario government announcing the college will remain open in 2014-2015. Student can apply for the program in September and will be offered a choice of 10 courses.
"Ontario is investing $2-million to reinstate and strengthen Kemptville campus' full range of apprenticeship and agricultural trade programming," says Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Training, College and Universities.
Duguid admits the funding is only a stop-gap measure. The University of Guelph has made no commitment to keep the program running longer than a year. Partnerships with Algonquin College and St. Lawrence Colleges may be in the works.
The Thurlers says they'll do whatever they can to help keep the program alive, knowing there are generations of future farmers that could benefit from it.
"I have some younger cousins who were talking about going. That was everyone's plan. Nobody thought maybe someday it wouldn't be around," says Robert Thurler.
With a report from CTV's John Hua.