Prowers Commissioners Receive LCC and CSU Extension Update

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Lamar Community College and Otero Junior College are combining some of their business education expertise to offer a new information outlet to area students and business people.  LCC President John Marrin and Christine Bullock from the college’s Small Business Management Faculty, discussed the concept in which OJC would expand their business classes to the ag market in both college’s joint seven counties, three from OJC and four from LCC, while LCC would offer small business management information in those same areas, taught by Bullock from La Junta. 

Bullock explained that her course offers a certificate on completion for those who already own a business or are close to opening one.  She said she offers one on one studies from the business site with the first priority being development of a business plan.  From there, studies are based on the specific needs of the business, whether it’s QuickBooks, marketing, risk management or other areas related to running and managing a business such as accounting principles.  “We run from 14 to 18 students per semester, because we’re so personalized,” she explained, adding, “I will go to each business for instruction, usually on their time frame, but if I see there’s an interest in a general topic, we’ll have a centralized class with a guest speaker.”  Bullock said online instruction also plays a growing role in her services, just because of the square mileage that has to be covered in the seven counties.  

Marrin said Cheyenne County is an example.  Because of the distance, Bullock is unable to make periodic trips, but the college may use an adjunct professor in outlying areas, perhaps a retired business person for hands on training at the businesses, but would still be under her direction. Bullock added that online features can also cover other related fields of study.  She told the commissioners, it’s not quite as fully explored as could be at this point, but the program does have options to investigate. 

Wilma Trujillo, CSU Southeast Area Agronomist and Jennifer Wells and Lacey Mann from SCU Extension reviewed the 2014 budget with the commissioners.  Wells also presented her quarterly report, July through September for Prowers County.   

Regarding the wheat harvest in southeast Colorado, Wells reported, “Overall the 2013 winter wheat harvest can be characterized as one that had wide-ranging yields.  In addition to the drought conditions, eastern Colorado endured major freezes from late March to mid April, which killed most dryland wheat and severally injured irrigated fields.  Southeast Colorado elevators reported receiving 10% less grain compared to a normal year, while east-central Colorado elevators received from 25% to 40% less what compared to a normal year.  USDA announced in the August Crop Production report that the 2013 Colorado winter wheat crop was the smallest since 2006.  Colorado winter wheat production was estimated at 43.5 million bushels, down 59% from 73.8 million bushels produced last year, and down 60% from the 10 year average crop of 72 million bushels.  This year, 1.5 million acres of winter wheat were harvested with an average yield of 29.0 bushels per acre.  This is much lower than the 2.2 million acres harvested last year and the 10 year average of 2.1 million acres harvested.  This is also the lowest amount of harvested acres for Colorado since 1965.”

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureBusinessCollegeCommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyFeaturedLamarProwers CountySchool


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