Save Pierce College Farm
The dairy science program at Pierce College is not geared to an earlier agricultural era. The program uses artificial insemination, a computerized feeding system, discusses embryo-transfer techniques, and its milk production exceeds both national and state averages. The dairy science instructor was nominated for a national award in dairy instruction for being able to teach city dwellers modern agricultural techniques with limited resources.
The Los Angeles Community College District ought to be proud of this unique educational asset instead of eliminating it.
The dairy science program at Pierce College is being characterized by farm management as a money-losing operation when, in fact, the dairy makes a profit, covering all its own maintenance costs and many of the costs of other farm units through the sale of milk and dairy cattle. Lack of interest in agriculture is being given as the reason for low student enrollment in the dairy science program when, in fact, class scheduling and other problems were the reasons for the decline in enrollment during the last three semesters.
The reasons given by the administration for closing the program appear to give credence to the public’s impression that the underlying motive for closing it is the gradual elimination of most or all of the farm programs. The Coalition to Preserve Pierce College Farm has asked college President Dan Means to postpone the sale of the dairy cows and equipment and to give the Los Angeles community the opportunity to try to come up with an alternative that would allow the dairy science program to continue.
Murman is chairman of the Coalition to Preserve Pierce College Farm .