Cloud Co. Comm. College Breaks Ground On New Ag Facility

Cloud County Community College broke ground on its new ag facility Thursday morning. Pictured, left to right, are: CCCC ag students Kara Hays and Colton Carter; Todd Leif, CCCC dean of science, math, and technical programs; Quentin Breese, USD 333 superintendent; Dr. Adrian Douglas, CCCC president; Jamieson Gross, CCCC ag department chair; Chelsea McCall, CCCC ag instructor; CCCC Board of Trustee members Jesse Pounds, Ellen Anderson and Larry Henry; Jim Koch, CCCC Foundation Board of Directors; Heather Gennette, CCCC Foundation director; and Megan Olson, CCCC ag student.
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Cloud County Community College broke ground on a new agriculture facility Thursday morning.

College President Dr. Adrian Douglas welcome those in attendance and thanked the entities who contributed toward the project.

The college received $100,000 grants from both the Sunderland Foundation and the Dane G. Hansen Foundation. In addition, the Community Foundation for Cloud County contributed $5,000, and the Cloud County Commissioners provided $23,000. Last week, the College Foundation Board of Directors authorized contributing up to $140,000 toward finishing the project. Cloud County Co-op Elevator will also be donating equipment and fencing to the facility.

“We are extremely grateful for our partners, for as we break ground on this long-awaited facility, we believe this space speaks to our commitment to our evolving ag program,” Douglas said.

Heather Gennette, director of the Foundation, said the ag facility project began nearly two years ago as a 20×30 pole shed.

“With the support of the Foundation Board of Directors and the College Board of Trustees, we were able to open our minds to all of the possibilities of what a facility would and could be for the ag program,” Gennette said.

The new ag facility will be an 80×100 building with a lean-to area. The building will help Cloud meet the needs of its growing enrollment in the agriculture program, by providing space for the Precision Ag equipment and livestock. It will also allow for community and business outreach opportunities.

“We are building a space with the potential to be so much more, and meet the needs of not only the college, but the community,” Gennette said. “We envision events and shows of all kinds that people from all over can attend.”

Jamieson Gross, Ag Department Chair, said the department is excited to begin construction on the new building.

“It’s going to provide an opportunity for recruitment and retention,” Gross said. “Students are going to be able to see that ag is important in this area. And, they’re going to be able to have hands-on activities on a weekly basis that will allow them to really stay involved in our classes and be successful here at the college, and at the next level.”

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.