Letter to the editor

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Dear Editor,

“The College with a Future” is the slogan used for many years when the College’s promotion team went on the road to promote the value of Kemptville College’s educational programs. Kemptville College of Agricultural Technology (KCAT), as it was known for decades, provided the necessary link to get young people back to farming, gardening or learning the essentials of Home Economics. These were the three basics ingredients in developing a sound sustainable economy.

The College – A Done Deal? I am pleased to read that the ‘private’ sector has expressed interest in the acquisition of this college, because it has a ‘future’, especially when we think about the sustainability of healthy food production, a healthy living environment and mental health.

When I look at other governments around world, I noticed that they amalgamated ministries. The Australians combined agriculture with forestry and water resources. The Dutch combined agriculture with environment and sections of health. Our Ontario Government, however, has done nothing to move into the future.

Back in the eighties, when working for the College, I asked the Government to build an Agroforestry Centre on Concession Road, long before the two schools and the subdivision were built along that road. I provided them with a plan, including a drawing of the new facility. In addition, I planted a three-acre sugar maple plantation at the spot I thought would be perfect to educate future students. Unfortunately, the Agroforestry Centre was built on Bedell Road, away from the public, in nowhere land.

Two years ago, I did a feasibility study to develop the main campus into a Green-Care farm; after all, we had accommodation on campus. Dutch studies have shown that mental health patients, especially those with opioid addictions, recover faster when involved with Green-Care farming activities. I presented this proposal to North Grenville. It fell on deaf ears!

We need to look beyond today. Let’s focus on the College’s future! How do we see Kemptville College playing a role in society in the next 20-30 years?

A Dutch farm equipment manufacturer just developed a tractor that runs on methane gas instead of fossil fuels. Canada is the main contributor of methane gas emission, which is the prime source of global warming. I do hope that the local investment firm with funds will be successful with its proposal, because I have not faith in the vision of our local municipal government.

William J. Langenberg

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