October 3 , 2008
This past week I had the opportunity to visit the Jones Family Farm along with Provost Nicholls, Nancy Bull and others. This multi-generational farm has continued to evolve and adapt as the needs and opportunities in Connecticut have changed. They currently produce Christmas trees and various fruits and vegetables as well as operate a winery. Several of our faculty joined us to give short presentations on their programs. This provided a great opportunity for us to highlight several programs that were important to the Jones family and give Provost Nicholls the opportunity to hear from some of our stakeholders about how our programs have impacted them.
I also met with a number of our 4H volunteers to hear about their youth programs and to discuss some of the challenges they face as volunteers. To a person, they were passionate about their programs and the impact they have had on young people. Many of our students today got their start in 4H. The 4H program provides a great link to UConn for many young people across the state and will continue to do so into the future.
Our college building projects – the animal facility renovations, Horticulture greenhouses and Young Building are all in the planning stages. Several of the poultry houses will be renovated to provide the highest level of animal care standards and receive much needed improvements to the exterior. The architect selection process is underway for the Horticulture greenhouse project and will soon move to the planning and design stage. Dr. Faustman and I met with Architectural and Planning Services to discuss the project scope for the Young building renovation. We will now activate the user committee to begin discussing renovation needs prior to architect selection. Staging of this project will be important because of the lack of available swing space on campus. While the renovation will be disruptive for a period, the Young building will finally receive a much needed facelift.
Gregory J. Weidemann
Dean and Director