WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced new resources to expand the agriculture and food science program at Wilmington College today. Brown urged U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development to approve a loan that would update and expand the facility while advancing the current curriculum to emphasize entrepreneurship and job creation in the region. The agriculture program has the largest enrollment at Wilmington College and is growing annually—increasing by 54 percent between 2009 and 2012.

“This expansion project will bring construction jobs to Clinton County now and advance education in agriculture business, agronomy, animal science, and other areas essential for Ohio agriculture to flourish in the future” Brown said. “Agriculture is an integral part of our state’s economy. By expanding the agriculture and food sciences programs at Wilmington College, we can create jobs and boost rural development in Clinton County and throughout the state.”

USDA is awarding a $19.7 million, 30-year loan through the Community Facilities program. The loan will finance the improvement of and addition to Kettering Hall, which houses the agriculture and food science program. The project includes renovation of 35,000 square feet of existing space and construction of a 13,500 square foot addition. The new space will feature state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories in an LEED certified and ADA-compliant environment. In addition to expanding academic opportunities, the new facility will serve as a community hub for conferences, workshops, and science programming for all community members.