Blinn welcomes new agricultural sciences facility

6,000-square-foot building continues growth of Blinn's renowned agricultural program

6,000-square-foot building continues growth of Blinn's renowned agricultural program

February 20, 2020

More than 200 faculty, staff, students, and community members celebrated the grand opening of a new agricultural sciences building on the Blinn College-Brenham Campus Thursday.

The new, 6,000-square-foot building will allow additional space for hands-on learning activities while accommodating the continued growth of Blinn’s Agricultural Sciences Program. Located at 1403 Old Mill Creek Road beside the W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex, the new building will include a livestock demonstration room, tack room, farrowing house, livestock pens, and a livestock chute.

The facility will allow Blinn to introduce new award pathways; offer laboratory courses in animal science, agronomy, and horticulture; and expand space for summer camps and continuing education.

Board Chair Charles Moser said the new building will be a great addition to the program.

“The Agricultural Sciences Department at Blinn is second to none,” said Moser. “These facilities are going to make it even better, but it’s the people who have made this department what it is today.”

Bryn Behnke, Assistant Dean for Agricultural Sciences, said the opening of the building “is a great day for many, many reasons” and credited “not just the people in the Ag Department – it’s the people of Blinn College” for helping make the program so successful.

Behnke said Blinn’s program serves as “the model” for other two-year colleges.

“One of the things that makes Blinn College great is these kids,” he said. “It’s a great day to be a part of the Blinn Agricultural Sciences Program. The sky is the limit.”

Doug Pierce, who has been with Blinn since 1993 and has been instrumental in its continued growth, said that while facilities are important, “people build programs, not facilities.”

“You’re only as good as the people around you,” he said.

He said it is a goal of the department to teach students the importance of “honesty, integrity, and standing by your word.”

“There’s no grade point average in the world that can take the place of that,” Pierce said.

The new facility will not only be used for Blinn students but also will allow for Blinn agriculture and livestock judging camps and adult education classes in partnership with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

Blinn plans to introduce a new 60-hour Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Livestock and Range Management. Students on the new AAS degree path will study the agriculture industry, animal science, agronomy, horticulture, agricultural economics, and animal reproduction. As part of the degree plan, students would participate in an internship in animal/livestock husbandry and production.

With the 20,200-square-foot Rankin Complex serving as its hub, Blinn offers agricultural science classes in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg, and Sealy, and has one of the most active extracurricular programs in the state, including a livestock judging team, Agriculture Club, and Ag Mechanics Club. For more information, visit  www.blinn.edu/agricultural-sciences.

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