C2A3 and NRCS Come Together in Minnesota

Community College Alliance for Agriculture Advancement (C2A3) member institutions and representatives from national and state offices of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) met recently for the 2021 C2A3 Annual Conference.

The ten institution, nine state community college alliance came together with NRCS for the three-day conference hosted this year by Central Lakes College in Minnesota from September 19th through the 21st.

Although the weather didn’t always cooperate and the pandemic forced many to participate remotely, the time was well spent strengthening partnerships, making connections, and sharing invaluable ideas.

Dr. Hara Charlier, President, Central Lakes College and Chair, C2A3 Board of Directors welcomed everyone to Central Lakes College.

Jimmy Bramblett, Deputy Chief for Programs of the
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service spoke to the partnership with C2A3 and gave an overview of NRCS priorities.

Dr. Tracy Kruse of Northeast Community College and C2A3 Executive Director gave an overview of C2A3.

Ryan Galbreath, State Resource Conservationist at Minnesota Natural Resources Conservation Service welcomed everyone and gave an overview of the NRCS Minnesota partnership with Central Lakes College.

Louis Aspey, Associate Chief for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, provided welcome remarks during the opening general session.

General Session
C2A3 Annual Conference General Session

Keith Olander of Central Lakes College introduces a special video greeting from U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN).

Ron Nelson from Central Lakes College takes Greg Miller of Lake Area Technical College (SD) for a ride.

Conference participants join each other for dinner at the Timbers Restaurant in the Timberlake Hotel.

Don Haberlin (left) and Greg Cisewski (right) both of Northcentral Technical College (WI), speak with Hannah Barrett of Central Lakes College during a tour of the vineyard and apple orchard.

Charlier 2
Dr. Hara Charlier, President
Central Lakes College

Pete Fandel of Illinois Central College (left) and Avery Davison and Dr. Arly Drake of Clark State College (OH) (center) enjoyed a ride between various stops on the Ag & Energy tours.

Conference participants toured the Brainerd Campus of Central Lakes College.

Their Wasniewski, Central Lakes College Horticulture instructor, gives Faculty members and NRCS representatives a tour of the Central Lakes College Brainerd campus greenhouses.

(from left) Faculty members Sarah Sellin of Northeast Community College (NE), Kent Montgomery of Central Lakes College, Chandra Langseth of North Dakota State College of Science and Northeast student ambassadors Kelcie Hall and Megan Coffey visit classrooms during the tour of the Central Lakes College Brainerd campus.

Keith Olander (center) of Central Lakes College is joined by (from left) Craig Zimprich and Chandra Langseth of North Dakota State College of Science, Diane Stiles of Lake Area Technical College, Dave Lawstuen of Northeast Iowa Community College, Mike Butts of Lake Area Technical College (SD), and Don Haberlin of Northcentral Technical College (WI) for a cover crop tour.