The new agriculture program at Sauk Valley Community College is off to a strong start thanks to the Guests and team members of Culver’s of Dixon.
The school in Dixon, which launched the program this fall, received almost $11,000 for equipment and other program materials through a series of fundraisers at the restaurant between April and August.
“Farming is so important to the restaurant industry. Our jobs wouldn’t exist,” said Culver’s co-owner Kayla Halfacre. “We rely on cattle farms for our beef, on hog farms for pork. And custard is one of our main menu items, so we rely on dairy farmers.”
She said the fundraising was this Culver’s choice to participate in Culver’s annual company-wide “Thank You, Farmers” campaign. Halfacre, who joined the company in 2003 and became a co-owner in 2015, organized the effort with the help of 40 team members.
They sold $1 cards decorated with a barn, sold $1 “scoop of thanks” ice cream, collected spare change at the drive-through for a dish of custard, and held several silent auctions for Culver’s gear such as t-shirts.
Culver’s of Dixon raised $10,943, which went to the Sauk Valley College Foundation, the school’s fund-raising and support partner.
“Her team is amazing,” said Lori Cortez, dean of the foundation, grants, and government relations.
“Our students can have access to state-of-the-art equipment” such as a soil scanner, especially after breaking ground on a campus field to grow cover crops over winter, she said.
SVCC is offering associate’s degrees in agriculture and agri-business, for students who directly enter agricultural work, want to seek jobs in marketing and sales, and who want to advance to a four-year program at another college or university.
Halfacre said Culver’s of Dixon will continue the program next year. “We want to stress how important farming is to everyday life,” she said.
Culver’s of Dixon
1317 N. Galena Ave., Dixon, IL 61021