JWCC opens new Ag Science Complex


BAYLIS, Ill. — John Wood Community College officially dedicated its new College Agricultural Sciences Complex and Fred L. Bradshaw Learning Center Tuesday morning at the JWCC Agricultural Education Center near Baylis. 

More than 300 people attended the ceremony which celebrated the 45-year educational partnership with the University of Illinois, John Wood Community College and the Orr Research Center Corporation.

JWCC President Michael Elbe formally accepted ownership of the Agricultural Sciences Complex from Orr Corporation Chair Matt Bradshaw. 

“Today is a defining moment for our region. I want to offer my sincere appreciation and gratitude to Matt and the Orr Corporation Board for their support and effort to produce this facility,” Elbe said. “I want to thank you for all your work to make this happen, and believe me people, when I say this would not have happened in the past 11 months without the leadership of Matt Bradshaw.”

Elbe then made a special announcement sharing the facility will be named in memory of Fred Bradshaw.

“I am officially declaring today this learning center will be named the Fred L. Bradshaw Learning Center,” said Elbe. “Fred Bradshaw was a founding member of the Orr Corporation and a pioneer in the early years of developing this unique partnership between a land grant university and a local community college. He was a community leader who served our college, our agricultural program and this region for decades. For your father, your mother Carole, the entire Bradshaw family, and your continued giving of your time, talents and treasures over the past 50 years, I am proud to say this facility will be named in honor and memory of your father.”

“Today’s dedication is a pivotal point in the history of the Orr Center,” Bradshaw said. “The new Agricultural Sciences Complex will take the current research and education to a new level. We are very excited to play a part in expanding the long-term relationship between John Wood Community College and the University of Illinois for future generations.”

The Orr Corporation is driving the privately funded project and has raised $2.1 million of the $2.5 million target goal so far.The 24,000-square-foot facility construction began last September. The newly completed facility houses offices and classrooms, an exposition/arena space, and an animal care unit designed for short-term or temporary housing for the welfare of animals. The building will address multiple agricultural education and development issues in West Central Illinois and further enhance regional research, teaching and activities.

commented, “The dedication and opening of this multipurpose facility is a celebration of the long-term partnership between JWCC, The College of ACES, and the Orr Research Center Corporation,” said U. of I. interim College of Agricultural Sciences Dr. German Bollero. “Without a doubt, the programs delivered in this new facility will have an immediate impact on the region. We are grateful to many local leaders that have made this effort possible.”

This new facility expands offerings and presents more opportunities to bring in other agencies and organizations to make a greater impact on our rural economy, communities served and the agricultural industry. For more information, visit jwcc.edu.

Fall registration is open now with classes starting August 22.

From left to right: State Representative Chris Miller, U.S. Representative Mary Miller, State Senator Jil Tracy, Shelby Crow, State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer, Lynn Curry, Matt Ginder, Michael Elbe, Neal Merchan, Dr. German Bollero, Cody Bradshaw, Jeff Bradshaw, Wesley Bradshaw, Eric Bradshaw, Carole Bradshaw, Jane Bradshaw, Matt Bradshaw, Lori Bradshaw, Kyle Bradshaw, Jill Moss, Mike Tenhouse, Larry Fischer

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