The farm units are a significant part of the university’s history. Courses in the College of Agriculture make use of these programs to help students learn agricultural practice first hand. The units also generate income to the university by selling products and services. It is not clear in the programs’ reports how much of their general fund budget supports the educational programs and how much subsidizes entrepreneurial or auxiliary operations. The committee recommends that the only use of general funds at the farm units be for support of courses and direct student learning, and that the connection between support and student learning be made clear. The farms should be self-supporting in all other functions. It would be reasonable to expect the farms to produce a surplus that can help support student learning on the farms.
Implementation Process – The College of Agriculture should develop a business plan for the farm units that will 1) establish the costs of direct instruction provided on the farm units and 2) ensure the units are self-sufficient without subsidy from the General Fund for all other activities.