Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

August 19, 2004

OMAF invests $2.5 million in new Ridgetown facility

Ridgetown College's Rudy H. Brown Rural Development Centre is one step closer to reality, thanks to a recent $2.5 million contribution announced by Steve Peters, Ontario's Minister of Agriculture and Food.

The new centre will offer leading-edge educational and outreach programs. Its teaching and research activities will also encourage new agricultural-based initiatives that could create new market opportunities for locally grown products.

“This funding announcement is tremendous news for Ridgetown College and the University of Guelph,” said Gary Ablett, Ridgetown College director. “OMAF's contribution to our new educational facilities shows their firm commitment to education, training and rural development.” Ridgetown College is part of the network of campuses of the University's Ontario Agricultural College.

Pat Hoy, local MPP for Chatham-Kent Essex, added “I am delighted with this announcement, because the funding is going to an institution that continues to vitally support agriculture by educating youth and helping agribusiness and producers address their needs. New facilities at Ridgetown College will benefit everyone in our region.”

The OMAF support of $2.5 million adds to the $2.3 million already raised privately by the Ridgetown College Agri-Food Foundation. Ridgetown College will continue to work with the government and members of the community in raising the remaining financial requirements to complete the building as soon as possible, Ablett said.

“The College is fortunate to have tremendous ongoing support from many individuals on this project,” Ablett said. “The Rudy H. Brown Rural Development Centre will renew and expand the opportunities for the Ridgetown campus to serve Ontario agriculture. I want to thank everyone for their past and future support toward the completion of this important initiative.”

OAC dean Craig Pearson paid tribute to Ablett and to the Ridgetown College Agri-Food Foundation for “their vision and continued leadership. This new centre at Ridgetown will be an important part of the facilities in the community and will strengthen the regional campuses of the University of Guelph.”

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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