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Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) has completed Phase One of the college’s Building on Tradition Campaign, a three-part renovation plan designed to improve NEO’s agricultural facilities. Phase Two of the plan has begun and will include additional renovations to the college farm’s existing facilities. The estimated date of completion for Phase Two is November 2015. Phase One of the renovation plan included the addition of 40 horse stalls to the arena, a return alley used for cattle roping, and enclosure of the barn. Storm shelters were also added to the north and south parts of the farm next to the multi-purpose arena.

Phase Two of the plan involves two components. The first will focus on aesthetic additions, including: new fencing around the Elm Street side of the farm and new signage at the corner of Elm and Central Streets. These renovations are estimated to be completed by Aug. 17 in time for fall classes. The second component of the plan aims to both renovate already existing features and include new additions to the facilities. “The NEO Agriculture Department and our agriculture students have been a source of pride for this school for more than 50 years,” said NEO President Dr. Jeff Hale. “Leaders like Harry Synar, Lawson Essex, Jary Douglas, Shannon Cunningham, Roger Fent and others have built a reputation of excellence in Aggie education, and these improvements seek to build on that tradition.”

NEO’s Elm Street Beef Unit will boast a new laboratory, cattle wash rack, and a covering over the cattle working facility. The renovations occurring on NEO’s Elm Street Farm are the first major updates since the building of the facility in the early 1980s. The new structure will not only improve the quality of NEO’s programs and facilities, but also create a first-rate environment for new and existing agriculture students at NEO. “The farm renovations are a necessary update, especially due to the length of time the facilities have gone without new additions,” said the Department Chair of Agriculture Tyler Dewey. “It is important to continuously update facilities, not only to remain competitive with other campuses, but to ensure first class learning experiences and opportunities for our students.”

The renovations of the farm facilities, once finished, will promote NEO as one of the premiere junior college farms in the country, Dewey said. The upcoming Phase Three of the plan is set to begin sometime within the next year. It will include arena parking and swine facilities. If you wish to donate, all proceeds will go to further the renovations. Please contact Jennifer Hessee at the NEO Development Foundation by email at jennifer.hessee@neo.edu or call 918-540-6250. Pictured above is one of the college’s stalling barns, which is used to house student-owned horses. Originally used as dairy barn, the structure dates back to the middle of the 20th century.

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