OTC Holds Grand Opening for New Agriculture Center

Photo courtesy of Kristina Bridges-Templeton OTC officials and community partners cut the ribbon at the Agriculture Training Center grand opening ceremony.

NIXA, Mo. — OTC trustees, administrators and faculty along with K-12 school officials and community leaders gathered at Ozarks Technical Community College’s Richwood Valley Campus for the grand opening of the college’s Agriculture Training Center, today, Aug. 12. Prior to the 2019-2020 school year, OTC’s agriculture and turf and landscape programs were based at the OTC Springfield Campus. With the move to the Richwood Valley campus, students will have enhanced learning opportunities.

“If you’ve been to our Springfield campus, you’ve probably noticed that it’s located in a fairly urban setting,” said Dr. Hal Higdon, OTC chancellor. “Here at Richwood Valley, there is more space to improve and enhance the experience for the students who wish to pursue careers in agriculture or turf and landscape.”

The OTC Richwood Valley Campus is located off of Highway 14 between Ozark and Nixa in Christian County. The 84-acre campus includes meadows, woods and a natural spring.

Students interested in a career in agriculture or turf and landscape have several degree and certificate program choices. There are three agriculture associate degree options: general agriculture, plant science and animal science. OTC also offers an associate degree in turf and landscape management. With the move to the Richwood Valley campus, the college will begin offering a certificate in outdoor power and power sports. The new program will teach maintenance and repair of outdoor equipment from string trimmers and chainsaws to mowers and utility vehicles.

Students pursuing one of these degrees or certificates have many career options, including farm and ranch operations, golf and sport turf management, forestry, landscape construction and maintenance, and employment through a myriad of government agencies.

Besides the 8,000-square-foot Agriculture Training Center, the new facility also includes a 2,400-square-foot greenhouse. The total cost of the project was $2.1 million.

“This move would not have been possible without taxpayers saying yes to a tax levy increase in 2018,” said OTC Board of Trustees Chair Jennifer Kennally. “When we asked for an additional nickel of property tax, we said we would move our agriculture programs here to Richwood Valley. This is progress as promised, and it’s a big win for our students.”

In the next several years, OTC will open a new education center in Republic and the Center for Advanced Manufacturing in 2022. Follow all of the college’s projects at otc.edu/progress.